People in Hong Kong should stare at smokers disapprovingly as part of efforts to create a tobacco-free city, the territory’s health minister has said.
Professor Lo Chung-mau said people who have lit up in areas where it is prohibited are unlikely to “hit back” if everyone stares at them, local media has reported.
“Cigarettes can harm the health of all of us,” Professor Lo told a meeting of the Legislative Council’s health service panel on Friday.
“When the members of the public see people smoking in non-smoking areas, even if no law enforcement officers can show up immediately, we can stare at the smokers.
“When someone takes out a cigarette at a restaurant, everyone on the premises can stare at that person. I do not believe that person would dare to hit back at everyone at the restaurant as they are simply staring.”
Professor Lo said the behaviour would help to create a “non-smoking culture” in the city.
He continued: “Take queuing at a bus stop as an example. No one will say it requires the law to compel people to queue.