Alvin Yuen, 18, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology There are two major problems which need to be addressed with the notion of banning smoking on the streets: how effective it is and the implications of implementing it. While banning smoking in the streets could seem like a good idea, we must question whether it is necessary. According to the Tobacco Control Office Department of Health, the number of smokers has steadily declined since 1982, even without a ban. Banning smoking outside would be almost impossible to enforce. Statistics from the Tobacco Control Office show that only a little more than 10 per cent of people in Hong Kong smoke. I believe officers enforcing this ban would struggle to find offenders. The band would also interfere with the personal choice of an individual and would violate personal freedom. Although I acknowledge that smoking places a burden on the healthcare system, I believe it is in the public's interest to maintain the right to make personal choices. If we imposed a ban on the air that we breathe, what would prevent someone from proposing a ban on other occasional pleasures like junk food? There ought to be a limit on what can be governed and what should be left to choice. An outright ban on smoking would not only be ineffective and unnecessary, but would also be a violation of personal choice. Naomi Ng, 17, Diocesan Girls' School The smoking ban should definitely be extended to the streets. Smokers adversely affect the health of other people as well as their own. Non-smokers do die from lung cancer. According to the Hong Kong Council On Smoking and Health, smoking kills 5,700 people each year. It is estimated to kill 16 people per day, half of them from lung cancer. These statistics are for smokers and non-smokers. I believe it is necessary to extend the ban to the streets as soon as possible. The government already has to advise the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses to stay home when air quality is bad. Ever since the Smoking Ordinance prohibiting smoking in public indoor areas was passed in 2007, people cluster on the streets to smoke, adding to the problem of air pollution. The Census and Statistics Department states that last year alone, there were 676,900 daily and occasional smokers. In a densely populated place like Hong Kong, with its narrow streets and pushy crowds, it's nearly impossible to avoid inhaling second-hand smoke. By banning smoking on the streets, we can all enjoy better air quality. Everybody has the right to act freely, but if your action adversely affects others, it shouldn't be allowed in public. Littering was banned years ago because it affected people other than the person littering. Smoking affects the condition of your lungs. It's far worse than littering. Smoking is a proven health hazard, and an annoyance to non-smokers, and I firmly believe Hong Kong should ban smoking on the streets.