Health | Inspectors fined over 35,000 smokers

Since the entry into force of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Law on January 1, 2012, the smoke inspection agents have fined a total of 35,084 people caught illegally smoking in prohibited venues, the Health Bureau (SSM) stated.
According to the most recent figures until July 31, the over 35,000 fines resulted from over 1.1 million inspections of several kinds of establishments, with an average of 694 inspections a day.
According to SSM, this year alone (until July 31) has registered 185,488 inspections, raising the average rate of 871 per day.
These inspections resulted in 3,932 fines for illegal smoking and 5 cases of sale of tobacco products that did not meet the labeling standards.
Male smokers totaled over 92 percent of those fined. In most cases (61.1 percent) the offenders were Macau residents, while tourists were responsible for 34.5 percent of violations.
Internet cafes continue to top the list of the venues with the most cases registered (17.4 percent) but are followed closely by the parks/gardens and leisure areas (12.6 percent) and video gaming rooms (10.3 percent).
Regarding the enforcement of the law in casinos, the SSM stated that, in cooperation with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), a total of 282 inspections took place in casinos between January and July, revealing 337 illegal smokers of which 79.8 percent are tourists.
The reported figures show an accusation rate of approximately 120 percent, an exponential figure compared to the average of all operations, which registered an accusation rate of around 2 percent.
The SSM also said that in 2016, the rate of people that voluntarily paid the fines reached 81.3 percent (3,202 fines). On the other hand, in 150 cases registered between January 1 and July 31, the inspectors had to request the support of the police forces.
The bureau also noted that during the first seven months of 2016, the Office for the Prevention and Tobacco Control received 1,800 calls, resulting in 526 smoking-related inquiries, 1,259 complaints and 154 suggestions from residents.
In July 2016, the SSM released for the first time a list of the 111 places that register a higher incidence of offences, stating that a total of 254 inspections had issued 106 fines at those venues.  RM

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