Smokers enjoyed their last puff in restaurants yesterday before the smoking ban on most indoor facilities took effect after midnight. Although most non-smoking diners welcomed the ban, which finally legislates a smoke-free environment, some smokers complained it was unfair. Chow Ko-cho, 53, has been smoking for more than 30 years and is a two-packet-a-day man. He said the government had cracked down in the wrong place, which made the ban 'unreasonable'. 'Smokers are allowed to buy cigarettes but forbidden to light them up. It is too ridiculous,' Mr Chow said. 'Cigarettes are sold legally with heavy tax. Why doesn't the government ban the imports and the sales of tobacco if it is really concerned about the health problem? It contradicts itself.' Security guard Szeto Hoi, a smoker for nearly 40 years, was more philosophical, saying he would just go outside to enjoy his cigarettes during lunch breaks. He agreed with the idea of a smoke-free environment, saying it was a bad habit. 'The growing concern of the public over second-hand smoke means the ban does not come as a surprise,' he said. 'It is too hard for me to stop smoking after so many years but it should not affect others.' Owners of restaurants had varied views on the future of their businesses. Yung Kam-ho, owner of Wong Ping Kee Cafe in Mong Kok, said he expected a 20 per cent drop in business after the ban was imposed. 'And it will be difficult to implement,' he added. 'We cannot force customers to go outside with their cigarettes.' However, the owner of the 40-year-old Lan Ting Coffee Shop, Simon Tong, believed the ban could be a success because it was mandatory to all. 'No one will be in an unfavourable position if all restaurants take the measures together. I think smokers will get used to the new regulation,' Mr Tong said.