Fancy, gi­ant ash­trays ‘stubbed out’ in Bei­jing’s ‘Fifth Av­enue’

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION -

Gi­ant ash­trays in “the most lux­u­ri­ous smok­ing area” at Bei­jing’s “Fifth Av­enue” have been dis­man­tled at the to­bacco con­trol as­so­ci­a­tion’s re­quest prompted by con­cerns they may en­cour­age smok­ing.

The area, of the size of a small res­tau­rant and lo­cated in Bei­jing’s “Fifth Av­enue” – Wang­fu­jing Street – was formed by 13 pil­lar-shaped ash­trays and 18 stain­less steel stools. The area was en­closed by metal plates and dec­o­rated with lantern-shaped lamps with plas­tic flow­ers in­side.

After be­ing con­structed re­cently, the area be­came an “iconic” part of the street; of course, it was fa­vored by smok­ers, who told the Bei­jing Youth Daily this week that hav­ing such a fancy smok­ing area will do them good.

How­ever, the Chi­nese As­so­ci­a­tion on To­bacco Con­trol begs to dif­fer.

The gi­ant and fancy smok­ing area clearly ran counter to Bei­jing’s regulations on to­bacco con­trol, which aim to re­duce smok­ing and cre­ate a healthy pub­lic en­vi­ron­ment, Xu Gui­hua, an ex­pert at the Chi­nese As­so­ci­a­tion on To- bacco Con­trol, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

Xu said that dur­ing their field trip to the area, they found some non-smok­ers re­lax­ing on the stools and tak­ing pic­tures; more­over, some par­ents took their kids to play there, while oth­ers were smok­ing.

Of­fi­cials in charge of the street told the Bei­jing Youth Daily that the project was origi- nally de­signed to boost spir­i­tual civ­i­liza­tion, and pro­vide a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for smok­ers.

Xu said ash­trays of the area have al­ready been dis­man­tled.

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