Bus stops along Xinyi Road in Taipei are to be nonsmoking areas from next month to try to reduce the second-hand smoke inhaled by passengers, the Taipei City Government said yesterday.
The city’s Department of Health said yesterday that it has listed the 27 pick-up and get-off points along Xinyi Road as nonsmoking areas in accordance with the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法). People who smoke in the areas are to face a fine of between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000.
Department commissioner Lin Chi-hung (林奇宏) said the law prohibited smoking in most indoor public locations, however, outdoor venues such as sidewalks and bus stops have not been listed as nonsmoking areas.
The department included bus stops in the list of nonsmoking areas because it has received a growing number of complaints from passengers waiting for buses.
“We have joined with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation to promote the nonsmoking movement at bus stops because we want to create a smoke-free environment in Taipei,” Lin said yesterday during a promotion of the new measure at the Daan Park bus stop.
He said the nonsmoking areas will be implemented first at bus stops along Xinyi Road because it is one of the busiest roads in the city.
The department’s statistics show a total of 33 outdoor areas in Taipei are designated nonsmoking areas, including the recent addition of the City Hall transfer station, the Taipei Mortuary Services Office’s First and Second Funeral Parlors, the Taipei Expo Park and outdoor areas outside the Shihlin Official Residence’s main building.
Twenty sidewalks have also been designated as nonsmoking areas.
Department statistics also showed that it has issued 92 fines for smoking violations to date, generating NT$189,000 in revenue last year.