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October 25, 2011

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2 detained in Metro bid to stub out smoking

TWO passengers have been detained for smoking in the city Metro system so far this year, police said yesterday.

They were among 11 passengers caught smoking on the network. The remaining nine were fined, police said.

Officers said they would step up checks on the Metro as the city tightens the enforcement of smoking bans in public places and seeks to reduce fire hazards.

In a recent case a man, surnamed Gong, was detained for two days, police said.

Gong was challenged on a carriage last Friday by officers patrolling Metro Line 6, police said.

The middle-aged man was brought to a police station later.

In March, another man was detained for three days after he was found smoking in a ventilation shaft at a Metro Line 3 station.

Under fire prevention laws, smokers in public places can be fined up to 500 yuan (US$78). In more serious cases, they can be detained.

Taxis and train carriages are among new targets of law enforcers.

A local cabbie was suspended for smoking in his car in September.

And Metro stations are listed as a top-level smoking-free zone under the city's smoking control law.

However, many smokers still ignore the ban. The Metro operator found some passengers still hide in Metro station toilets to smoke.

Smokers are more likely to light up at elevated Metro stations compared to underground ones, police said.


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