Smoking in Macau
In May 2009 the government of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) announced a planned indoor smoking ban for all public places, "to create a fair environment where smokers have the freedom to smoke and non-smokers also have the freedom not to inhale second-hand smoke," Health Bureau director Lei Chin Ion said. In April 2009 the government of Macau SAR announced proposed legislation that sought to raise the tobacco sales tax by 300%. Casinos and gambling are a major aspect of tourism in Macau. Smoking is banned on the main floors of casinos, but is permitted in closed-off ventilated smoking areas, which are located on the casino floors. A majority of Macau residents support a total ban on smoking in public places, but lawmakers in closed session on 20 April 2010 were unable to reach a consensus regarding a total ban inside casinos. The increasing number of smokers is a cause for concern, as 17% of people in Macau smoke.
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