Many smaller eateries, such as the distinctive Hong Kong-style cha chang tengs and barbeque restaurants, say the tougher anti-smoking laws are driving away customers. In the days since the new smoking ban in restaurants took effect on New Year's Day, these businesses say revenue is already being hit, especially at morning and afternoon teatime when diners normally socialise rather than eat. In Mong Kok, three out of four restaurants interviewed for this report - two cha chang tengs, a barbecue restaurant and a noodle shop - said business had dropped as much as 20 per cent a day in the first five days of the smoking ban in restaurants. 'That doesn't sound like much, but business in Mong Kok is quite competitive,' said Wong Tong, owner and operator of Yuen Fat Barbecue Restaurant on Soy Street. For Yung Kam-ho, owner of Wong Ping Kei Cha Chang Teng on nearby Hak Po Street, the situation is worse because his landlord recently put his rent up to HK$60,000 from HK$50,000 in October. As well, his restaurant was renovated in November and many of his old customers have yet to return. Mr Ho, who is a smoker himself, is concerned that he might not be able to break even following the ban and could be forced to close. 'Usually around mid-afternoon, my little restaurant would be packed. Now we are barely able to fill tables,' he lamented. 'People around this time, they don't come in here to eat. It's more to pass the time, chat and smoke. 'And there isn't anything much I can do about it. If the government mandates this ban, all I can do is put a table outside with an ashtray and hope that is good enough for my customers.'