Residents in Hong Kong have welcomed in the New Year with a breath of fresh air, after the territory's smoking ban in public places came into effect on 1 January.
The ban covers most public areas, including restaurants, offices and karaoke lounges.
It also extends to outside areas with swimming pools, beaches and the larger parts of public parks now designated as smoke-free.
However, massage houses, mah jong parlours and nightclubs, have secured an eighteen month exemption and have until 1 July 2009 to comply.
Anyone caught lighting up in a banned zone faces a maximum fine of HK$5000 (£326).
By Charlotte Bailey
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