News & Comment

China bans smoking in public places

Sun 1st May, 2011

China's 300 million smokers are now banned from smoking in public places indoors, such as hotels, restaurants and bars. However, smoking in the office is still allowed.

The ban was introduced by the State Council, China's top administrative body, in response to a World Health Organization treaty Beijing signed in 2006 pledging to enact nationwide tobacco-control legislation within five years. 

The law mandates a penalty of 30,000 yuan, or about $4,600, for owners of establishments that do not comply, but it is still unclear who will enforce the ban and what actions will trigger such a steep fine.

In reality few observers believe the ban will be enforced, and some reports suggest there are no penalties for breaking the rules.

Sources: BBC News (May 1, 2011)
Daily Telegraph (May 1, 2001)
Los Angela Times (April 30, 2011) 

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