To safeguard public health and minimize citizens’ exposure to secondhand smoke in public areas, the Hong Kong Government has designated eight out of eleven bus interchanges leading to expressways or tunnels as no smoking areas in March 2016. The remaining three bus interchanges will also be listed as statutory no smoking area on 31 August 2018.

According to the Legislative Council Paper, Tobacco Control Office (TCO) of the Department of Health conducted a telephone survey with 1,059 persons after the implementation of smoking ban at the eight bus interchanges. Results showed 93.2% of the respondents agreed that the designation of no smoking areas at bus interchanges could protect them from the harm of secondhand smoke. Furthermore, 93.8% of the respondents supported the extension of smoking ban to other bus interchanges and bus stops, which 66.5% of current smokers also support this measure. Similar results were also reflected in their on-site face-to-face interviews at the eight bus interchanges with smoking ban.

Therefore, the Government proposed the amendment of Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Chapter 371) Schedule 2 in order to extend the smoking ban to the three remaining bus interchanges, namely the Tuen Mun Road Bus Interchange, Lantau Toll Plaza Bus Interchange and Aberdeen Tunnel Bus Interchange. The amendment has been approved by the Legislative Council and expected to take into effect on 31 August 2018.

Many countries and regions (such as Macau) have gradually designated public transport waiting areas as no smoking areas. The Tobacco Control Policy-related Survey 2017, commissioned by Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) and conducted by the School of Nursing of the University of Hong Kong, also showed that 94.2% of the respondents supported the corresponding measure. COSH advocates the government to further expand the scope of smoking bans to all public transport waiting areas in order to protect public health.

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