China aims at banning smoking in public places

China bans smoking indoorsChina counts  about 300 million smokers and it is the world’s largest consumer of tobacco: smoking is part of the social life, particularly for men.

Early January 2014, the article “China aims to ban smoking in public places by end of the year” from Reuters reported the intention from the Chinese government to ban smoking in public indoor places.

Actually, the anti-tobacco policy in China was first initiated in 1996, and it banned smoking in 8 types of public places (including hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, theatres, shops and public transport).

In 2008, China reinforced the ban of smoking in public places but no-smoking signs are frequently ignored.

End of September 2014, an article from Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO’s Representative in China, raises some issues linked to the redaction of the law to ban smoking in all indoor public places, trying to open ways for particular cases. Indeed, as per the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) signed by China in 2005, it commits the P.R.China to adopt laws that protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor public places, including offices. But it seems that the law opens now window for smoking in single occupancy offices, not considering that the smoke may fly next door each time it opens… and ignoring the second-hand smoke for office colleagues.

But in some other ways, the draft may be stronger than in any other country, prohibiting the designation of designed smoking areas indoors. “Indoors” would also have quite restrictive definition, since under the draft regulation, “indoor” means “any space covered by a roof or enclosed by two or more sides, including an elevator, corridor, staircase or bathroom“.

Let’s wait for January 2015 vote to know more about the new law regarding smoking rules in public areas China!

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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!