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October 24, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Smoking still a problem in taxis

SMOKING remains a problem in Shanghai taxis as only half of local cabs are totally smoke-free, with both drivers and passengers laying off the cigarette.

Some 68 percent of taxi drivers ask passengers not to smoke in the cabs but less than half of them push passengers again after being refused initially, according to a survey by the Shanghai Health Promotion Association, which is in charge of the anti-smoking campaign in the city.

Taxis of Qiangsheng, Blue Alliance and smaller companies fare worse on anti-smoking measures, according to the survey that was conducted early this month among some 200 cabbies covering all major local taxi companies.

However, only 20 percent of taxis emanated smoke odors and more than 90 percent of cabbies were well versed with the city's anti-smoking laws.

Shanghai has been cracking down on smoking among local taxi drivers since the city's public smoking control law took effect in March 2010.

A Qiangsheng Taxi Co driver had his license suspended for a week for smoking in his taxi last year and fined 50 yuan.

Smokers who refuse to put out their cigarettes can be fined up to 200 yuan (US$31.33).

Citywide, the management of 34 public venues, such as restaurants, hotels and shopping malls, as well as 11 individual smokers were fined a total of 79,000 yuan for violating the smoking ban during the third quarter this year, about 45 percent less compared to the second quarter, the government revealed yesterday.

"Though there are still some inadequacies, the law has proved to be effective," said Li Zhongyang, deputy director of the association.

Some 76 percent of local public venues have signs displaying the supervision hotlines of law enforcement teams that people can call if they find anyone smoking inside the venues.

Internet cafes, restaurants and karaoke parlors were places where anti-smoking laws were violated the most.

The city's ferries also have a smoking problem. Police detained a man for five days and fined him in August as he smoked on a ferry and even abused law enforcement officers who asked him to stop.


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