PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, 12:00am

How can the smoking ban be better enforced?

The anti-smoking laws introduced in January have enjoyed some success. However, I think they could do with some improvements.

Tobacco Control Office inspectors cannot deal with all cases of people breaking the anti-smoking laws.

Therefore, I think people should use their digital cameras to film those individuals who are lighting up in no-smoking areas.

They could then send the photos to the Tobacco Control Office. As a deterrent to smokers who react violently to being photographed, they should be made aware that the courts will deal severely with anyone who resorts to violence.

The government should also appoint more tobacco control officers.

Danny Wong, Kwun Tong

Although the smoking ban legislation has been in force since January, I do not think it is being properly controlled.

I think it is being ignored, especially in the countryside. I had a frightening experience in a rural area with some people who chose to ignore the laws.

I was visiting a shabby restaurant in the New Territories and I saw a few customers smoking at tables after they had finished their meals.

The next day I returned and saw the same people smoking and we exchanged eye contact.

Later, I found a small piece of cockroach leg in my rice.

A few days later when I returned again, there was another piece of cockroach leg on the edge of my dish. I knew that the chef was making it plain I was not welcome.

In fact, I have been to a number of rural restaurants and often see ashtrays.

I think the cafe owners assume that tobacco control inspectors are only operating in urban areas of Hong Kong.

I heard one owner saying that the anti-smoking law was only advisory. It could not lead to anyone being given a prison term.

The government should place adverts in the media, making it clear that it is illegal to allow customers to smoke in these restaurants.

Pang Chi-ming, Sheung Shui

What do you think of GPS taxis?

I think all taxis should have the global positioning system (GPS) installed.

It will benefit customers and taxi drivers.

It will save customers time, reduce congestion and give cabbies greater protection.

If they are in danger, they can press an alarm which is linked to taxi control centre.

Passengers who are dissatisfied with the taxi driver could make a complaint to the control centre, so service standards would improve.

Yau Yung-hon, Kwun Tong

I think taxis with a global positioning system will be good for passengers and drivers.

Details of every trip will be recorded, which will lead to more reliable and efficient taxi trips.

Drivers will have greater protection from theft, as a security code will be needed to start the car.

GPS is cheap and provides instant traffic information.

Kwan Shing-hin, Shun Lee

Should there be more help services for the elderly?

Tsang Wing-on staged a robbery in the hope he would be sent to jail ('I was desperate, says elderly robber', August 30).

He did it because his welfare payments had been cut. I was not surprised by this story. There have been similar cases in the past and it reflects a lack of communication between the Social Welfare Department and elderly people.

I think there are a certain number of elderly people who are effectively hidden from society and are struggling to survive. The department should act promptly to help these people. These people have contributed so much to society during their working lives. We should not ignore them in their time of need.

Chan Wai-shun, Kwun Tong

Do you think bank branches are too cold?

I think the air conditioning in some bank branches is too cold. It feels like a refrigerator.

I think temperature guidelines have to be set, with a recommended minimum and maximum temperature. The lowest acceptable temperature should be 22 degrees Celsius.

Also, banks have to modify their dress code for members of staff. At the moment, they have to wear suits to work, so I imagine they must feel very hot in the summer. They should be allowed to wear lighter clothing.

However, I would not just single out bank branches. This problem with air-conditioning systems also exists in shopping centres and supermarkets.

The government should be doing more to get businesses to deal with this problem.

Sunny Yeung, Lam Tin

On other matters...

I write to support completely A. Phan's comments about the worsening situation especially in the SoHo area (Talkback, August 27). Often I have had to physically move the signs and menu tent boards along the escalator to continue walking.

The area around Staunton's is a long-term black spot.

A postbox outside Staunton's is regularly used as a 'table' by the drinkers who thoughtlessly block the mailing slots. Customers of Staunton's consistently spill on to the street, preventing safe passage for pedestrians on what is a public pavement.

The staff must either ensure their customers behave or the customers must have better sense. Neither is the case. The noise at the Spot sports bar opposite Staunton's in the middle of the night, when a goal has been scored in a televised match, wakes up the whole area and is totally unacceptable.

The authorities must also start looking at the newly sprouting outlets on Wyndham Street, where the same problem has started and must be nipped in the bud. The Lan Kwai Fong Hotel actually has a lectern on the pavement blocking pedestrians.

SoHo should never have been allowed to be born and grow in that residential area in the first place. When patrons go to dinner, they decide what kind of food they fancy, which restaurant serves it best and just walk into it. No other advertising is necessary.

Meena Krishnan, Central