The suggestion was made by The Secretary for Health, Lo Chung-Mau
In an effort to discourage smoking in restricted public places, Hong Kong residents have been encouraged to stare and give disapproving looks to smokers, South China Morning Post reported.
The Secretary for Health, Lo Chung-Mau, made this suggestion during a meeting of a health service panel when he was asked questions about how to create a tobacco-free city.
“When the members of the public see people smoking in non-smoking areas, even if no law enforcement officers can show up immediately, we can stare at the smokers. When someone takes out a cigarette at a restaurant, everyone on the premises can stare at that person. I do not believe that person would dare to hit back at everyone at the restaurant as they are simply staring,'' he said.
He added that police could not be expected to catch smokers and insisted that members of the public could work together to create a culture that discouraged smoking.
“We understand that law enforcement officers cannot always take action at the scene of the crime. When they arrive at the scene, the crime may have already stopped. Take queuing at a bus stop as an example. No one will say it requires the law to compel people to queue. Our society is able to create a culture where people will comply with this rule of queuing when waiting for buses. I hope the whole of society can build a non-smoking culture.”
Lo Chung-mau also warned that authorities would review surveillance footage or video clips provided by residents as evidence to crack down on smoking in restricted spots.
Under current Hong Kong smoking laws, smoking inside restaurants, workplaces, indoor public spaces, and some outdoor public areas is punishable with a fine of up to HK$1,500 (Rs 22,997).