Lawmaker Lam Lon Wai has asked the government to ensure the safety of tobacco control officers, following the incident last week in which a police officer fired a warning gunshot when assaulted by unruly smokers outside Galaxy Macau.
In his inquiry to the government, Lam noted that tobacco control officers have to deal with attacks and insults during their law enforcement duties.
The Galaxy Macau incident reflects an increased challenge for tobacco control officers and police officers who are responsible for enforcing the law.
In Lam’ opinion, the police authority, the Health Bureau (SSM) and the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), as well as the gaming operators, need to set up additional support in order to guarantee the safety of tobacco control officers working on the frontline.
Lam asked the government about the measures employed by the police authority, SSM, and DICJ that ensure the officers’ safety.
The lawmaker further noted, citing the SSM’s statistics on the number of prosecutions of illegal smoking behaviors, that approximately 70 percent of illegal smokers are tourists.
Lam believes that this data shows that tourists are the main target of tobacco control promotional campaigns, therefore he wants the government to reveal the details of the new tobacco control law’s promotional campaign to tourists.