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Just over 11.5 percent of those who smoked said they plan to quit within a year, and nearly 60 percent had been urged to quit by doctors in the previous year.
“Theresultsshowthat tobacco control efforts have yielded noticeable results in Beijing,” said Zeng Xiaopeng, the center’s deputy director. “Smoking rates are lowest in the places where a tobacco ban has been enforced for the longest period of time, such as public vehicles, hospitals and schools.”
Zeng added, “Beijing is well prepared for the enforcement of the newtobacco control regulations.”
The restrictions, which were adopted in November by the Beijing People’s Congress, are among the toughest of their kind in China. They forbid smoking in all indoor public areas and workplaces and some outdoor areas, including schools, the seating areas of sports stadiums and hospitals that treat women or children.
Violators will face fines of up to 200 yuan ($32), a twentyfold increase from the current 10 yuan penalty.
However, it will be difficult to root out those who ignore the regulations when they take effect on June 1, said Wang Benjin, deputy director of the Beijing Health Inspection Bureau.
“We will intensify inspections in key sites where smoking is prevalent, such as restaurants and nightclubs,” he said.
Wang added that there are 1,100 health inspectors in the city, but they will not be able to enforce the rules on their own.
“We urge the whole of society, including the owners of restaurants and bars, to assume responsibility.”