A TOTAL of 738 offenders have been taken to task for smoking in non- smoking zones around the country since the enactment of the Tobacco Control Decree 2010.
Tobacco Control Enforcement Unit manager Aminiasi Tavui said these people had been fined and some of them had even ended up in court for not paying their fines.
"The penalty ranges from $200-$1000 for most of them. There are also a few cases which are $5000 for not being registered to sell tobacco products," Mr Tavui said.
"We will continue to seek approval of the government through our Health Minister in extending non-smoking zones as we are mostly concerned with the lives of 83 per cent Fijians who are non-smokers.
"Our message to the general public has always been the same in that we help our people make the right and healthy choice in life and the decision is entirely up to them."
Mr Tavui said while they respected the 17 per cent of the population that smoked, they should also be aware that they should not smoke in prohibited public places or no smoking zones as there were hefty fines in place.
"Think of those around you if you smoke as they have the right to breathe fresh air!"