PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am

How do you feel about the smoking ban after a year?

The 'smoking ban' is a farce that panders to the business whims of the Liberal Party.

Any licensed premises wishing to get an exemption can do so until July 1, 2009, by simply filling out a form and applying to our 'health department'.

This ludicrous exemption is not only unjust under any sensible, fair competition law, it obviates the total idea of the anti-smoking legislation, which is to protect the health of catering workers forced to breathe the equivalent of a packet of cigarettes a day.

Meanwhile, their employers remain liable under existing workplace health and safety laws for not keeping the workplace safe from dangers to the health of the workers.

The slow-burning side-stream smoke from the tip of a cigarette is four to six times more toxic than the smoke inhaled by the smokers, and this comprises 85 per cent of the cigarette smoke in a room at any one time.

A University of Hong Kong study shows passive smoking kills an average of 1,324 innocent people a year of the 6,000-plus tobacco deaths in Hong Kong.

James Middleton,

Clear the Air Hong Kong

Should concerts be held at Hong Kong Stadium?

Concerts should not be held at Hong Kong Stadium.

To begin with, the stadium is a place for sport, for soccer players or athletes, not for singers. Singers should opt for venues designed for concerts, such as the Hong Kong Coliseum.

If more concerts are held at the stadium, then some sporting events might be moved elsewhere.

Also, I do not think Hong Kong Stadium would be comfortable for a concert in the summer, as there is no air conditioning. If a concert was arranged for the summer months, I think many people would think twice about attending.

I also agree with those people who say residents have valid complaints about the noise pollution. Concerts tend to be held during the evening and most Hongkongers work from around 9am till 6pm.

When residents who live near the stadium return home, they want to be able to relax with their family. That family life would be disrupted when a concert was being held.

Hong Kong Stadium was built for sport, not for concerts.

Chum Kwok-fung, Tseung Kwan O

I do not live near Hong Kong Stadium, but I can appreciate the viewpoint of residents in the area. I also see the need for a good concert venue with sufficient space for a large crowd. While I think it is important to protect the interests of the residents, if there was a way to ensure the noise produced was kept within the legal limit, then there would be no reason to stop concerts from being held at Hong Kong Stadium.

Given that we lack suitable venues for large concerts, I think it would be the only suitable venue until the West Kowloon cultural district is completed.

Celeste Cheng Hiu-yan, Kowloon City

Should cha chan teng be declared intangible heritage?

When times were tough many years ago, cha chan teng restaurants were very important for Hongkongers.

Many middle-aged residents will remember how people on low incomes used these restaurants. They solved the problem of getting a meal when they were in a hurry, which was often the case in their daily lives.

I have fond memories of these cafes, of the aroma inside and the sandwiches served at your table. Getting these fast and reasonably priced meals enabled me to cope with a hurried schedule.

I had been to these kinds of restaurants in the Chinatowns of many prominent cities abroad. In most cases, the menus were almost replicas of those you find in Hong Kong. However, the taste and smell were different.

It was just not the same as what I experienced in Hong Kong. These restaurants are part of the unique psychological heritage of Hong Kong.

Pang Chi-ming, Sheung Shui

I think cha chan teng have been an indispensable part of our lives in Hong Kong.

You are able to enjoy delicious food at a low price. And as the food there represents the unique cuisine of Hong Kong, the cha chan teng restaurant has iconic status in Hong Kong's eating culture.

Visitors often find they have to pay out a lot of money to eat well. However, it is not necessary to pay HK$1,000 for a meal. You can get good-quality food for around HK$100 in a cha chan teng, and there is a wide variety, including traditional and modern dishes, such as abalone, fish balls, tiramisu and ginger milk.

It is clear that the cha chan teng is very important to Hong Kong people. They have been part of our lives for many years and we should appreciate them as part of our heritage.

Truda Tsoi Chun-wai, Sheung Shui

The term cha chan teng is the Cantonese version of the 'greasy spoon'. Declared or not, it is clearly a heritage. And to many people, it is very tangible.

David Auyeung, Sha Tin

On other matters...

My daughter goes to an international school. During health lessons, they are taught in great detail about the importance of eating the right foods and the disadvantages of consuming junk food. But come break time, there is hardly any healthy food available in the tuck shop located in the school campus.

If ever there is any fresh fruit, it is so expensive that most kids ignore it as they can get more junk for the same price.

On raising this issue with the vice-principal, he gave us a disheartening answer that they have no control over the tuck shop or the food that is sold there. Moreover, much as he feels that children should eat healthy food, he shocked me and my husband by saying that he feels this is a lost battle.

I would like to make an appeal to the Education Bureau to look into the tuck shops and what they sell at local and international schools. Junk food should be banned from sale, and healthy food should replace such food and be offered at affordable prices.

Studies conducted in the west have proven that business does not suffer even when tuck shops sell healthy snacks.

Hong Kong should not wait until the health situation of youngsters here really becomes a problem, as it has in the west.

Pradnya Kulkarni, Quarry Bay