Smoking banned at all New Taipei bus stops from Friday

3 March 2017:

Taipei, March 3 (CNA) Smoking is banned at all 6,309 bus stops in New Taipei beginning Friday as part of the city’s efforts to create a smoke-free environment, Lee Shu-chuan (李四川), deputy mayor of New Taipei, announced that day.

Smoking will be prohibited in the 10-meter-long bus bays, as well as their corresponding areas on the pedestrian sidewalk, where passengers usually wait for the their buses, Hou Jia-ling, an official with the New Taipei City Department of Health, told CNA.

For places without sidewalks, such as in rural areas, smoking will be banned only within the 10-meter-long bus bay, where people wait for and get on a bus, Hou said.

The smoking ban in New Taipei is stricter than that implemented in Taipei on Jan. 1. The ban in Taipei only prohibits smoking at the 1,150 enclosed or partially enclosed bus shelters in the city, while the ban in New Taipei also prohibits smoking at bus stops without enclosed or partially enclosed shelters.

There will be a grace period of six months after the ban goes into effect. Beginning Sept. 1, violators will be given a fine of between NT$2,000 (US$64) and NT$10,000, according to the New Taipei city government.

The new regulation is part of the city government’s efforts to improve the smoke-free environment in the city.

Beginning September last year, smoking has been forbidden on sidewalks and other areas near 336 schools in New Taipei. Three hundred and thirty-seven violations were recorded last year, amounting to a total of NT$674,000 in fines, the city government said.

(By Christie Chen)