Hong Kong will become a mostly smoke-free city today, as a ban on lighting up inside restaurants, workplaces, schools, karaoke lounges and public areas came into force. Even smoking at outdoor locations such as beaches, pools, museums and most areas of public parks will be forbidden.
Australian tourist Robert Hyde, a smoker for over 10 years, said the ban wouldn't stop him from returning to Hong Kong.
"If I need to smoke, then I'll smoke outside the restaurant and then go back to enjoy my meal. It's easy," Hyde said.
But maverick lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung (
Leung, nicknamed Long Hair, also said there are filtration and ventilation systems that are effective in keeping air clean inside.
"It's ridiculous that the government is not allowing restaurateurs to use those enhancement facilities to maintain a smoking area in their restaurants," he said.
Anyone caught breaking the new law will be subject to a maximum fine of HK$5,000 (US$644).
The ban does not yet include nightclubs, bars and bathhouses.