LANGUAGE
Last updated: February 24th 2020

Smoke Free Status of Indoor Public Places, Workplaces, and Public Transport

All indoor workplaces

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance provides that no person shall smoke in a no smoking area. Schedule 2, Part 1 provides an extensive list of types of places that are smoke free including the catch-all provision, “an indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” The only exceptions to the smoking ban are set out in Schedule 2, Part 2, which permits smoking in hotel rooms, designated areas in airports and correctional/detention facilities, and tasting rooms in cigar shops. As these places are workplaces for some people, not all workplaces are smoke free. Therefore, “indoor workplaces” is given the regulatory status “Smoking is Restricted.”

Although there are only limited exceptions to the smoking ban, the law does not align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines because it does not provide for 100% smoke free indoor workplaces and public places and therefore does not provide effective or universal protection against tobacco smoke exposure. To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should require all parts of all indoor public places and workplaces to be 100% smoke free.

All indoor public places

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance provides that no person shall smoke in a no smoking area. Schedule 2, Part 1 provides an extensive list of types of places that are smoke free including the catch-all provision, “an indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” The only exceptions to the smoking ban are set out in Schedule 2, Part 2, which permits smoking in hotel rooms, designated areas in airports and correctional/detention facilities, and tasting rooms in cigar shops. As some of these places are public places, not all public places are smoke free. Therefore, “indoor public places” is given the regulatory status “Smoking is Restricted.”

Although there are only limited exceptions to the smoking ban, the law does not align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines because it does not provide for 100% smoke free indoor workplaces and public places and therefore does not provide effective or universal protection against tobacco smoke exposure. To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should require all parts of all indoor public places and workplaces to be 100% smoke free.

Law Source, Section

All public transport

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

Section 4 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in a public transport carrier. Schedule 1 sets forth the public transport carriers in which smoking is prohibited, which includes all land and water public transport in Hong Kong. Schedule 1 provides for one very limited exception to the smoking ban: if a bus or taxi is hired as a whole by a private party, smoking is allowed in the vehicle. This exemption does not apply to the three main franchise bus operators – KMB, Citibus, and New World Group. This provision fails to provide protection to the bus and taxi drivers and non-smoking passengers in these circumstances.

Because of the limited exception as it applies to taxis, the regulatory status code "Smoking is Restricted" is given. To fully align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should provide for 100% smoke free public transportation at all times.

Government facilities

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3(5) of the Smoking Ordinance specifically provides that “any premises that are owned or occupied by, or under the management and control of, the Government” are no smoking areas.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to government facilities.

Private offices

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance provides that no person shall smoke in a no smoking area. Schedule 2, Part 1 provides an extensive list of types of places that are smoke free including the catch-all provision, “an indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” The only exceptions to the smoking ban are set out in Schedule 2, Part 2, and do not include private offices. Therefore, private offices are smoke free. The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to private offices.

Hospitals

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates hospitals as no smoking areas.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to hospitals.

Residential healthcare facilities - public areas

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates indoor areas in “residential care homes” as no smoking areas.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to public areas of residential healthcare facilities.

Non-residential healthcare facilities

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates “treatment centers” as no smoking areas, which is interpreted as covering non-residential healthcare facilities. In addition, Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” This would cover non-residential healthcare facilities that do not fall in the category of “treatment centers.”

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to non-residential healthcare facilities.

Childcare facilities/preschools

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates “any child care center,” “any school,” and “any specified educational establishment” as no smoking areas; therefore, childcare facilities and preschools are smoke free.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to childcare facilities and preschools.

Primary and secondary schools

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates “any school” and “any specified educational establishment” as no smoking areas; therefore, primary and secondary schools are smoke free.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to primary and secondary schools.

Universities/vocational facilities

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates “any school,” “any specified educational establishment,” and “any approved institution” as no smoking areas; therefore, universities and vocational facilities are smoke free.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to universities and vocational facilities.

Shops

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates any indoor areas in “any shop, department store, or shopping mall,” “any market (whether publicly or privately operated or managed),” and “any supermarket” as no smoking areas; therefore, the majority of shops are smoke free. However, smoking is allowed in tasting rooms in cigar shops and therefore, the regulatory status of “Smoking is Restricted” is given rather than “100% Smoke Free.”

To fully align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should prohibit smoking in all shops.

Cultural facilities

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2 does not specifically address cultural institutions. However, Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” This provision covers indoor cultural institutions and they are, therefore, smoke free.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to cultural facilities.

Indoor stadium/arenas

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates the following areas in stadiums as smoke free: any pitch, any running track, any sidewalk immediately adjacent to the pitch or running track, and any spectator stand. In addition, Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” Together, these provisions are interpreted as prohibiting smoking in all parts of all indoor stadiums and arenas.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to indoor stadiums/arenas.

Restaurants

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates “any restaurant premises” as a no smoking area.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to restaurants.

Bars/pubs/nightclubs

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 designates “any bar” and “any karaoke establishment” as no smoking areas. In addition, Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” Together, these provisions prohibit smoking in all bars, pubs, and nightclubs.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to bars, pubs, and nightclubs.

Casinos

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 does not specifically list casinos. However, Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” This provision prohibits smoking in casinos.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to casinos.

Hotels/lodging - public areas

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 does not specifically list hotels. However, Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” This provision is interpreted as prohibiting smoking in public areas in hotels. In addition, Schedule 2, Part 2 specifically exempts hotel rooms from no smoking requirements, implying that other parts of hotels are no smoking areas.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to public areas of hotels.

Hotels/lodgings - guest rooms

Smoking is Not Restricted
Smoking is allowed throughout the entire premises of the specified place or category of places.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, except for those places that are exempt under Schedule 2, Part 2. Hotel guest rooms are specifically exempt from no smoking requirements under Schedule 2, Part 2.

Because there are limited exceptions to the smoking ban in hotel rooms, the law does not align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines. The law does not provide for 100% smoke free indoor workplaces and public places and therefore does not provide effective or universal protection against tobacco smoke exposure. To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should require all parts of all indoor public places and workplaces to be 100% smoke free.

Prisons/detention facilities - public areas

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, except for those places that are exempt under Schedule 2, Part 2. Schedule 2, Part 2 specifically exempts “an area in a correctional facility that is set aside for smoking by prisoners,” and “an area set aside by the Director of Immigration” in immigration detention facilities. Therefore, smoking is restricted in public areas of correctional and detention facilities.

Accordingly, the law does not align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines. The law does not provide for 100% smoke free indoor workplaces and public places and therefore does not provide effective or universal protection against tobacco smoke exposure. To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should require all parts of all indoor public places and workplaces to be 100% smoke free.

Trains, buses and other shared ground transportation other than taxis

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

Section 4 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in a public transport carrier. Schedule 1 sets forth the public transport carriers on which smoking is prohibited (which includes all land and water public transport in Hong Kong). Schedule 1 provides for one very limited exception to the smoking ban: if a bus or taxi is hired as a whole by a private party, smoking is allowed in the vehicle. This exemption does not apply to the three main franchise bus operators – KMB, Citibus, and New World Group. This provision fails to provide protection to bus and taxi drivers and non-smoking passengers in these circumstances.

Because of the very limited exception applying to private party hires of buses (taxis are analyzed separately), the regulatory status code of "Smoking is Restricted" is given.

To fully align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to trains, buses and other shared ground transportation other than taxis, all means of public transport, as defined by para. 22 in the guidelines, should be smoke free at all times.

Taxis (for-hire vehicle)

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

Section 4 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in a public transport carrier. Schedule 1 sets forth the public transport carriers on which smoking is prohibited (which includes all land and water public transport in Hong Kong). Schedule 1 provides for one very limited exception to the smoking ban: if a bus or taxi is hired as a whole by a private party, smoking is allowed in the vehicle. This exemption does not apply to the three main franchise bus operators – KMB, Citibus, and New World Group. This provision fails to provide protection to bus and taxi drivers and non-smoking passengers in these circumstances.

Because of the very limited exception applying to private party hires of taxis, the regulatory status code of "Smoking is Restricted" is given.

To fully align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to taxis, all means of public transport, as defined by para. 22 in the guidelines, should be smoke free at all times.

Commercial aircraft

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
Analysis

The Aviation Security Ordinance prohibits smoking in aircraft. The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to commercial aircraft.

Commercial watercraft

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 4 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in a public transport carrier. Schedule 1 sets forth the public transport carriers on which smoking is prohibited, which includes all land and water public transport in Hong Kong. Therefore, commercial watercraft are smoke free.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to commercial watercraft.

Public transport facilities (waiting areas for mass transit)

Smoking is Restricted
Smoking is restricted in some way in the specified place or category of places. Restrictions could take one of the following forms: (1) smoking is restricted , under the national law, to “smoking rooms”, “smoking areas”, and/or during specified times in the specified place or category of places; (2) under the national law(s), smoking is restricted or prohibited in some types of places, within the category but not in all types of places within the category; or (3) where a country regulates public smoking primarily at the sub-national level, smoking is restricted or prohibited in the specified place or category of places in some sub-national jurisdictions but not in other sub-national jurisdictions.
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Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance authorizes the Director of Health to designate public transport terminals as no smoking areas. The Smoking Regulations contain a schedule with an extensive list of public transportation terminals. This list covers all indoor public transportation facilities in Hong Kong except for airports, which have designated smoking areas.

Because there are limited exceptions to the smoking ban (hotel rooms, designated areas in airports and correctional/detention facilities, and tasting rooms in cigar shops), the law does not align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines. The law does not provide for 100% smoke free indoor workplaces and public places and therefore does not provide effective or universal protection against tobacco smoke exposure. To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should require all parts of all indoor public places and workplaces to be 100% smoke free.

Private quarters

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Under Schedule 2, Part 2 of the Smoking Ordinance, smoking is prohibited in private quarters situated within “(a) a child care centre; (b) a school; (c) a specified educational establishment; (d) an approved institution; (e) a place of detention; (f) a place of refuge; (g) a reformatory school; (h) a hospital; (i) a maternity home.”

Common areas of non-public access places

100% Smoke Free
100% smoke free environment throughout the entire premises of the listed place. "Smoking rooms" and "smoking areas" are not permitted.
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Analysis

Section 3 of the Smoking Ordinance prohibits smoking in “no smoking areas” set forth in Schedule 2. Schedule 2, Part 1 includes a catch-all provision that designates as non-smoking any “indoor area in a workplace or public place to the extent that it is not an area described in any other item in this Part.” The definition of public place includes “a common part of any premises notwithstanding that the public are not entitled or permitted to have access to that common part or those premises.” Therefore, common areas of non-public access places are smoke free.