Fines a damp squib

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 May, 2010, 12:00am

Smoking has been banned in Shenzhen hospitals since 1998, but The Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday that not a single ticket has been issued for violation of the ban in the past 12 years.

People caught smoking in hospitals were threatened with fines of 20 yuan (HK$22.70), but no one has ever had to pay up.

It's a similar situation in Guangzhou, which has supposedly banned smoking in hospitals and other specified indoor venues since July 2003. No one has ever been punished for violating the ban.

Xu Lifan, from Guangdong's Patriotic Health Campaign Committee, told the newspaper he could not recall anyone being penalised for breaching the regulation since it was endorsed by the Guangdong People's Congress.

The penalty for smoking in hospitals, cinemas, the waiting areas of airports and ships, large and medium-sized shopping malls, libraries, exhibition centres, museums, conference rooms, gymnasiums, schools and youth centres was set at less than 100 yuan, with the regulation failing to specify the exact amount.