Posted by: audreybenenati | January 13, 2010

EPA plans to fine outdoor smokers without ashtrays

Updated Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:42 am TWN, The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced yesterday its intention to draw a draft to fine outdoor smokers who are not in the vicinity of any public ashtrays and do have not brought their own.

The EPA added that motorcyclists who smoke while riding the vehicles would be fined, too.

EPA estimated that cigarette butts littered on the ground in public areas piled up to nearly 10 billion per year.

To prevent smokers from scattering cigarette ends, EPA plans to draw an amendment based on the Waste Disposal Act, said minister of EPA Shen Shu-hung (沈世宏).

Once the amendment passes, banned outdoor smoking behaviors include not smoking in the allocated areas, not bringing personal ashtrays or bags, and smoking on a scooter.

The fines will range between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000, said EPA.

EPA said that it had consulted public’s opinions by telephone interviews targeting citizens over 15 years old.

The office conducted more than 10,011 random telephone interviews last year and collected 1,067 effective samples.

A total of 57.9 percent polled suggested the office to prevent smokers from smoking outdoors while walking, 53.2 percent agreed to raise the fine, and 84.4 percent were against smoking on scooters or in cars.

Another poll with 174 effective samples that targeted smokers indicated that 57.5 percent believed the government should reinforce the public education, 62.1 of the polled smokers asked for more public ashtrays, and 49.4 percent would bring personal ashtrays.

The Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act now bans indoor smoking; violators may face a fine of up to NT$50,000 for the businesses and NT$10,000 for the individuals involved.


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