Macau lawmaker Lam Lon Wai has asked the Government to ensure the safety of tobacco control officers following an incident last week in which a police officer fired a warning gunshot when assaulted by allegedly unruly smokers outside the Galaxy Macau casino resort, according to a story in The Macau Daily Times.

As part of his request, Lam noted that tobacco control officers had to deal with attacks and insults during their law enforcement duties.

But the Galaxy Macau incident reflected an increased challenge for tobacco control officers and police officers who are responsible for enforcing the law.

Lam said the police authority, the Health Bureau (SSM) the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) and gaming operators needed to set up additional support to guarantee the safety of tobacco control officers working on the frontline.

He asked the Government what measures were employed by the police authority, the SSM, and the DICJ to ensure the officers’ safety.

Citing SSM statistics on the number of prosecutions for illegal smoking, Lam said that about 70 percent of illicit smokers were tourists.

This meant, according to Lam, that tourists should be the main target of tobacco control campaigns; so he asked the Government to reveal the details of the new tobacco control law’s promotional campaign to tourists.

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