Almost 8,000 people were reported by police last year for smoking in public areas, it was announced on Friday, as police stepped up its checks.
Last year, 35,180 checks were carried out and 7,852 persons were reported, police said, compared to 2014 whose figures were 24,966 and 2,857 respectively. In 2013, police carried out 30,673 checks, which led to 3,514 bookings.
According to a police statement, fines were not an end in themselves, but the aim was to promote health protection, anti-smoking behaviour, and also to raise public awareness about the legislation.
“It is the right of every smoker to smoke,” the statement said, “but above all people must respect those who don’t.”