Three smokers were caught on the spot during the second round of smoking ban raids Monday night in Longhua District, where law enforcement officers and reporters visited five restaurants.
The first smoker, who refused to be identified, was found smoking at a private room in Xiyan Restaurant, which is located in the Guanghao International Center on Meilong Road.
The middle-aged man said he knew that smoking is banned in public places, but he thought it was allowed in a private room. He added that the ashtray was provided by the restaurant. The man was fined 50 yuan (US$7.52), the minimum penalty on individuals for violating the ban.
The restaurant was found to have a total absence of no-smoking signs in its private rooms. It received a verbal warning and was ordered to rectify the issue within 15 days, after which law enforcement officers will make a return visit.
The second and third smokers were spotted at a restaurant at Mantao Building on Minzhi Boulevard. The eatery features Hunan cuisines and has been the subject of many complaints from citizens on the city’s tobacco control association official WeChat account for violating the smoking ban.
When the reporters entered the eatery, several customers were seen smoking at separate tables. However, the waitresses immediately informed the diners to stop smoking and packed up their cigarette boxes for the raid.
According to one smoker who was caught red-handed, the waitress persuaded him not to smoke, but she didn’t insist when he continued smoking. It is also found that the eatery didn’t have sufficient tobacco control signs on premise.
The restaurant also received a verbal warning from the officers and has become a target for a return visit. If it fails to meet the requirements, it will receive a fine of up to 30,000 yuan.
“The key issues with these restaurants during the raid include not posting enough tobacco control signs, not having a tobacco control system in place and not having their staff trained,” said Li Wentian, a law enforcement officer.