On June 1, China launced new tougher tobacco control policies in Beijing. The new policy is in effect more than one week and how does it work?
Today use of tobacco is not allowed in all indoor public spaces such as bars, restaurants, offices, hotels. Use of tobacco is banned in such outdoor public spaces as train stations, bus stops, hospitals, cultural and historical facilities.
It is planned that in future those anti-smoking measures will be extended across the country.
Angela Pratt, technical officer for Tobacco Control Initiative at the World Health Organization China Office, told that the anti-smoking law in Beijing is the strongest law that ever existed in China and is strongest one across the whole Asian region. She provided an example of
Hong Kong that is considered more progressive compared to China, but it still allows use of cigarettes in airports! Beijing does not allow it and here it is more progressive than Hong Kong.
Restaurant owners should not permit smoking inside their establishments, otherwide they will face a fine of 10,000 yuan (about US$1,600) every time someone is caught smoking inside.
The new law prohibits advertising of tobacco products in Beijing. Those who will violate the law will be subjected to a fine of 100,000 yuan (around US$16,000).
It was estimated in 2013 that totally in China there were 300 million smokers and revenues from tobacco sales make up 10% of budget. Due to the large amount of smokers China tops the list of countries with highest smoking rates, therefore the anti-smoking measures are so needed.
Xu Guihua, secretary-general of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, told that it is very important to inform people about the new law in place.
Though the smoking ban is adopted only in Beijing at the moment, but this is a good beginning for China.
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