China plans to ban smoking in indoor public places

Friday, March 25, 2011

Universal No Smoking Sign

Yesterday the Health Ministry claimed that China issued a national ban on smoking in all indoor public spaces. The ban is included in the government's 12th Five-Year Plan. Also banned is smoking in outdoor public areas where pedestrians pass. The ban will begin May 1.

China, with a third of the world's smoking population at 300 million smokers, is the largest cigarette market in the world. Each week approximately 70 percent of non-smoking adults are exposed to second-hand smoke. According the the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco-related illnesses kill over one million people annually. The World Health Organisation says Chinese smoking-related deaths account for one fifth of deaths from smoking world-wide.

The number of deaths are predicted to rise to 3.5 million deaths a year by 2030 if no steps are taken, states a report co-authored by Zhao Ping, deputy director general of the Chinese Cancer Foundation. Further, there is a spike of new smokers in China as increasingly women, young people and the poor become smokers.

The posting of logos is being required to alert people not to smoke. Vending machines selling cigarettes in public places will be banned as will cigarette advertisements and sponsorships. The new regulations include educational measures to inform people about the dangers of tobacco.