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Call for complete smoking ban in karaoke bars

SHANGHAI legislators should completely ban smoking inside karaoke bars, restaurants, pubs and other entertainment venues, suggests the head of the city's cultural industry watchdog.

There should be no smoking rooms allowed inside these venues because a partial ban would make it difficult to enforce properly, said Lan Yiming, vice director of Shanghai Culture Market Administrative Law Enforcement Team, today.

He called on lawmakers to incorporate his suggestions into Shanghai's first anti-smoking laws due to take effect in January.

The draft laws would allow smoking inside some special rooms in karaoke bars and restaurants.

But Lan feared that his team would find it difficult to fine smokers because customers might complain about unfair practices. "The law should ensure fairness. There should be a smoking ban on all rooms inside a karaoke bar," he told a public forum on the draft law.

Another speaker, Xia Xiangqing, an official with Shanghai Restaurants Association, said the association planned to control smoking in nearly 1,000 branded restaurants before next year's World Expo.

"Some restaurant owners are afraid of losing business, especially those operating in small spaces," Xia said, suggesting such small cafes could hardly afford separated dining sections.

"But we all know that tobacco control in restaurants is a worldwide trend. We plan to educate the big restaurant operators first to gradually have all in the industry well involved to implement the ban," Xia told the lawmakers.


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