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Government mulls ban on smoking at road intersections( China Post )

發佈日期: 2013-12-16

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government is considering expanding restrictions designed to deter smoking to include public roads, according to reports.
Citing numerous complaints from the public, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) on Wednesday announced that it may expand non-smoking zones to T-intersections on public roads. Fines ranging from NT$2,000 to NT$10,000 may be levied on individuals caught smoking cigarettes while waiting at red lights, according to the MHW.
The MHW stated that it has received numerous complaints from the public indicating that many citizens on the road suffer not only from vehicle exhaust fumes, but also from second-hand smoke from fellow motorists at stop lights. The MHW, however, stated that the proposal is still being drafted, and that consideration will be given to areas of varying urban density. The priority will be given to enforcing the smoking ban at major routes within large population centers, said the MHW, adding that final decisions on the matter will be taken by local governments individually.
Meanwhile, smokers’ rights advocacy groups have staged demonstrations outside the MHW, blasting the governing body’s unconstitutional “big brother-esque” policies.
In response, the MHW stated that the proposed change conforms to the stipulations of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法). As the consumption of tobacco is harmful to the smoker and those breathing in second-hand smoke, its deterrence is covered by the constitution, which was founded on the principles of protecting the people’s welfare.