New Taipei to ban smoking in front of convenience stores, coffee shops
Taipei, April 25 (CNA) New Taipei City will prohibit smoking in public areas in front of several convenience store and coffee shop chains with effect from September, the city's Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
The seating areas in front of 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, OK Mart, Simple Mart and Hi-Life stores will be designated as non-smoking areas, as will the public spaces in front of Starbucks, 85 Cafe and Louisa Coffee shops in New Taipei, the health department said.
Those businesses were informed on March 1 of the impending regulation, which gave them six months' notice of its implementation, the department said.
When the new regulation takes effect on Sept. 1, violators will risk a fine of NT$2,000 (US$64.6) to NT$10,000, the department said.
Citing a survey, the department's head Chen Jun-Chiu (陳潤秋) said exposure to secondhand smoke in outdoor public spaces is higher in New Taipei than the national average of 45.6 percent in 2018.
In New Taipei the exposure rate was 53.3 percent in 2018, which was a decline from 57.3 percent the previous year, after smoking was prohibited outside health clinics, Chen said.
As part of the city government's efforts to make New Taipei a smoke-free city, smoking has been banned outside school campuses since 2016 and at bus stops since 2017, she said.
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