(ECNS) - Smoking regulators issued a 50-yuan fine ($7.5) to a foreigner in South China's Shenzhen City on Monday night, after the man was caught puffing on a cigarette in a dumpling restaurant.
It is the first time that a foreigner has been fined for smoking in the city.
Supervisors from the city's Baoan District have been carrying out surprise checks as part of a campaign to enforce a smoking ban in public spaces.
On Monday night, they fined five people for smoking in restaurants and two restaurants were required to rectify arrangements within a specified time limit. If the restaurants are found to still be tolerating smokers after that period, they may face fines of 30,000 yuan.
In one dumpling restaurant, several smokers immediately stubbed out their cigarettes after seeing the law enforcement officers, with the exclusion of one foreigner who was smoking.
Li Chuan, a law enforcement officer with the Shenzhen Municipal Market and Quality Supervision Committee, said foreigners must comply with the law as equally as Chinese citizens.
During this round of checks, it was found that smaller restaurants were less likely than bigger restaurants to be complying strictly with the no-smoking rules, Li said.
Chen Jinhua, deputy chairman of the Shenzhen Tobacco Control Association, said smoking has made a comeback in some restaurants, especially in private dining rooms, and even in front of children. Chen urged for increased inspections to ensure widespread awareness of the city's smoking control efforts.