To make Hong Kong a tobacco-free city, residents look awkward at smokers

Hong Kong residents have adopted an unusual tactic in their deliberate effort to make the city tobacco-free: intense stares. This unique method relies on the power of visual communication to discourage smokers from smoking in public places.

Hong Kong’s health secretary has proposed measures to help the city develop a non-smoking culture. According to the BBC, Lo Chung-mau believes that Hong Kong people should discourage smoking by watching anyone who lights up in areas where smoking is prohibited.

He made the comments in response to questions from parliamentarians about how to build a tobacco-free city. Hong Kong is now discussing stricter anti-smoking policies.

The strange advice from Hong Kong’s health chief is to “stare at smokers to stop them”

Hong Kong residents look uneasy at smokers to ban tobaccoCredit: canva

Smoking is a dangerous habit that many people engage in. To discourage smoking, the Hong Kong government has devised a solution. To achieve a tobacco-free city, the territory’s Health Minister suggested that people view smokers with disapproval.

“Cigarettes can harm the health of all of us,” Professor Lo Chung-mau said during a meeting of the Legislative Council’s health services panel. “When members of the public see people smoking in non-smoking areas, even if no law enforcement officer can immediately come forward.”

And he added: “We can look at the smokers.”

Hong Kong residents look uneasy at smokers to ban tobaccoCredit: canva

He further said that when someone lights a cigarette in a restaurant, everyone in the restaurant is free to watch. “I don’t think that person dares to hit back at everyone in the restaurant who is just watching,” she added.

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According to Professor Lo, such an activity would contribute to the development of a “non-smoking culture”. He also threatened that authorities will use surveillance footage provided by the public to crack down on smoking.

Smoking inside restaurants, offices and some other places is punishable by a fine of up to Rs 22,000 under current Hong Kong smoking laws.

Hong Kong residents look uneasy at smokers to ban tobaccoCredit: Getty Images

The use of intense staring by Hong Kong citizens to discourage smoking in public places is a striking novel tactic. While the success and ethical considerations of this technique are debatable, it certainly demonstrates the commitment and ingenuity of the city’s people in their quest for a tobacco-free future.

It is hoped that by shining a light on this unique method, this article will add to the ongoing discussion on smoking cessation and inspire new, inventive approaches to combat the global tobacco pandemic.

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