China to con­trol pub­lic smok­ing na­tion­wide by year-end

The Myanmar Times - - World -

CHINA, the world’s big­gest cig­a­rette pro­ducer and consumer, aims to im­pose na­tional smok­ing-con­trol reg­u­la­tions by the end of this year, au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day.

China has the world’s largest smok­ing pop­u­la­tion, with 28 per­cent of all adults and half of its adult men es­ti­mated to smoke reg­u­larly.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion says 1 mil­lion peo­ple in China die of to­bacco-re­lated ill­nesses an­nu­ally, with sec­ond-hand smoke con­tribut­ing to an­other 100,000 deaths.

In June 2015 Bei­jing mu­nic­i­pal­ity adopted the tough­est anti-smok­ing leg­is­la­tion in the coun­try, ban­ning smok­ing in of­fices, restau­rants, ho­tels and hos­pi­tals. Venues that flout the ban can face fines of up to 10,000 yuan (US$1450).

Last week Shang­hai also amended its to­bacco reg­u­la­tions to ban in­door smok­ing and also out­door smok­ing at pub­lic ar­eas such as bus stops, schools and sta­di­ums.

At a WHO con­fer­ence in the com­mer­cial hub, govern­ment health spokesper­son Mao Qu­nan in­di­cated mea­sures would be rolled out across the coun­try soon.

Nearly 20 cities have al­ready drawn up pub­lic no-smok­ing rules, Mr Mao added. The com­mis­sion first drafted the law in late 2014.

En­forc­ing anti-smok­ing mea­sures can be dif­fi­cult in China as the staterun to­bacco in­dus­try pro­vides the govern­ment with colos­sal sums – 1.1 tril­lion yuan ($160 bil­lion) in taxes and prof­its in 2015, up 20pc year-on-year.

Photo: EPA

An anti-smok­ing ad­vo­cate per­forms a dance as anti-smok­ing mes­sages hang from the Bird’s Nest Sta­dium to mark ‘World No To­bacco Day’ in Bei­jing.

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