Macau’s smoking laws and facilities have been a major concern throughout the year, and they will continue to be thanks to a recent update from the Macau Health Bureau. Their latest release shows that the number of smoking areas is at an all-time high, although overall smoking offences are decreasing.
The report indicates that law enforcement has conducted 1079 unlawful smoking cases between January 1 and September 30, 2019. It reflects a decrease in total convictions of 183, or 14.5 percent, compared to the same period in 2018. That number came from 994 casino area patrols, a rise in patrols of 51.3 percent.
These numbers would suggest that while Macau has become increasingly tougher on attempting to catch smokers being where they shouldn’t be, they are catching less smokers. Nevertheless, the ones they capture are predominantly male visitors, 1,011 of the total of 1079. As previously reported, the figures are still skewed by visitors as a whole.
That would mean smokers are making better use of the city’s new smoking areas, which the study also focused on. The authority submitted 650 requests from 34 different venues. A maximum of 606 smoking areas were cleared, 33 of those sites had their permits accepted.
The drop in overall violations will be good news for casino operators who have been previously marketed as a cigarette offence magnet. As more smoking areas have been licensed and Macau has shown that they are very serious about enforcing these smoking laws, the issue has become more ho-hum, showing that it only took a little time and common sense to sort out the situation.
But, it didn’t always look like that. A Chinese tourist targeted police offers soon after the smoking ban really kicked in, warning him not to smoke outside a casino. Luckily, as the smoking ban has become more appropriate for smokers with additional lounges, and the legislation may have been better advertised, there have been no more assaults.