200 restaurants will be smoke free on one Sunday a month until January 1 About 200 restaurants will be smoke-free on Sunday as the government launches a promotional blitz ahead of the January 1 implementation of the smoking law. The Legislative Council approved an amendment last Thursday that will require nearly all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, to be smoke-free. The law will take effect on January 1 for most workplaces, but places of entertainment that prohibit entry to people under 18 will have until July 1, 2009, to comply. Just 800 restaurants out of 10,000 to 12,000 are smoke-free. Deputy Director of Health Leung Ting-hung said yesterday that to prepare the city for a smoke-free environment, a series of open days would be held from Sunday, with at least 200 restaurants participating that have until now permitted smoking. Open days would be held on November 29 and December 29, hopefully with more restaurants taking part. 'The main purpose is to help the catering industry and the public to adapt to a smoke-free environment. The participating restaurants will display posters and no-smoking signs to remind clients of No Smoking Day,' Dr Leung said. About 800 restaurant workers will wear Smoke-Free Ambassador badges and help to distribute pamphlets. Whether all 200 would remain smoke-free from Sunday depended on their readiness to adopt the ban ahead of the January 1 deadline, a department spokesman said. Christine Wong Wang, senior medical and health officer of the department's Tobacco Control Office, said she would be recruiting 80 to 100 more inspectors to enforce the smoking ban, to supplement the existing 30 officers. 'They have the power to seize evidence and to initiate prosecutions. Smoking offences only take about a few minutes so we cannot be there right away. So we will rely on the co-operation of smokers and frontline managers,' she said. Meanwhile, a survey of smokers and ex-smokers found more than half of the smokers said they would be more determined to give up because of the anti-smoking law. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists drug education resources centre interviewed 500 people last month who had succeeded or failed when trying to quit smoking. About 77 per cent of them had tried to quit smoking through willpower alone. Centre education director William Chui Chun-ming suggested smokers try the 'NRT [nicotine replacement therapy], cut down then stop' method, by which smokers reduce their intake and use nicotine replacement products. Joe Yeh Wing-fung, 42, was a heavy smoker for more than 20 years. After realising smoking would affect his family's health he decided to quit using willpower, but he took it up again three months later. He sought help from an anti-smoking centre and eventually quit four years ago.