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March 1, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Hotline staff lack training

A HOTLINE where callers can report illegal smoking in public places has failed to catch fire, officials admitted yesterday.

One year on from the launch of the city's anti-smoking campaign, the number is not widely known, staff are poorly trained and in insufficient numbers.

Li Zhongyang, an official in charge of the anti-smoking campaign, said the hotline had not been set up in all areas when the smoking law took effect. And some workers who had not been trained to deal with complaints failed to take reports in time.

"But we will provide training for the hotline workers," added Li, who also said they had received few complaints.

When the campaign was first launched last March, tens of thousands of smoking control volunteers wearing red armbands appeared across the city. But they are rarely seen now, except in hospitals.

They have no powers to stop offenders smoking.

According to Li, Shanghai has around 39,000 anti-smoking volunteers. They now mainly help with undercover visits to inspect non-smoking public venues.


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