The government's plan to designate smoking areas in public recreation grounds will fail to protect the health of the city's children, a leading member of the Democratic Party said yesterday. Mark Li Kin-yin, convenor of the party's Health Group, blasted the move under proposed amendments to the Smoking Ordinance. 'They may be too close to animals, birds, rare animal species and children. And once you set up one area it will be quite confusing as nobody will know which is the smoking area. We think it will be quite difficult to enforce,' he said. 'To enhance a healthy society, we have to enforce the regulations in order to comply with the framework set out by the UN and the WHO.' A vote on the proposed amendments will be held in Legco on October 18, and if passed, new tobacco control measures will be implemented from the start of next year. They include the designation of all indoor workplaces, educational institutions, parks and public transport terminals as no-smoking areas. A survey of 1,064 respondents, of whom 12.9 per cent were smokers, found nearly 50 per cent thought that smoking areas in parks would cause confusion while 31.7 per cent disagreed with the move. Regarding the government's plan to exempt its officers from legal liability, 78 per cent believed public officers should bear the same liability as others. 'It is common practice for the government to exempt themselves from the law to make things easier, like with the Fire Safety Ordinance that requires access to fire escapes in a building,' said Mr Li. 'But we believe this is not appropriate when you are enforcing the law. Why don't they take the lead?'