As of Tuesday, the Health Bureau (SSM) received a total of 505 applications for smoking lounges, according to a statement released by the SSM.
The 505 applications were submitted by 34 of Macau’s 47 casinos.
The SSM has already issued an approval to 378 smoking lounges. Regarding the unapproved lounges, the bureau explained that the applicants failed to submit the required documents punctually, or the applicants did not complete fire testing or did not make improvements according to the fire services authority. Some applicants have also canceled applications.
In addition, the SSM responded to a proposal suggesting that it should establish a 24-hour hotline to receive reports about illegal smoking.
“SSM reiterates that smoking is only a momentary act. Even if a 24-hour hotline for smoking control is set up, it will still be difficult for the tobacco control law enforcement officers to immediately prosecute [upon each violation]. Therefore, effective inspections must be conducted. […] Recently, SSM has been paying attention to illegal smoking in individual casino toilets and SSM will strengthen the inspection and law enforcement of the relevant venues,” SSM said in a statement.
Moreover, the bureau also responded to a proposal suggesting that smoking lounges should install a smoke sensing system inside their premises.
The SSM clarified that “there exists no relevant research or report proving the effectiveness of the equipment [smoke sensor].”