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December 26, 2013

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Man held briefly for smoking in restaurant

A MAN, reportedly holding a foreign passport, was briefly detained by police after smoking in a restaurant and abusing diners in a neighboring table.

The man was seen smoking in a non-smoking restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel in Putuo District. A family of three, who were sitting in an adjacent table, objected to his smoking.

The man then reacted provocatively with obscene gestures when asked to stop. Police was then called in.

A witness, surnamed Zhang, told Shanghai Daily that the man claimed he was a US citizen and physically challenged the police who brought him under control by spraying him with pepper.

Police said yesterday they had released the man after  making few enquiries.

According to the restaurant’s catering director, surnamed Hu, the man had a few drinks before he started smoking.

Smoking is banned in 13 areas under the anti-smoking law enacted in 2009. Other places where smoking is explicitly banned include  kindergartens, museums and Internet bars.

Restaurants can split between smoking and non-smoking areas.

“Such divisions hardly protect the non-smokers,” said Hu Zhaoming, who heads an anti-smoking body and called for a smoking ban in workplaces and public areas earlier this year.

A 2012 survey showed that some 90 percent of residents support stricter imposition of smoking ban.



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