China’s smoking ban likely to go up in smoke

May 3rd, 2011 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, May 3 (ANI): China’s pledge to ban smoking indoors seems to have failed to ignite action against cigarettes.

According to Jiang Yuan, deputy director of the National Office of Tobacco Control, no specific penalties or responsibility for enforcement have been set out in the legislation, due to which the new ban “could hardly work well”.

World Health Organization statistics reveal that the country has more than 300 million smokers and about 1.2 million people die from smoking-related diseases every year, accounting for one-fifth of the world’s total.

Moreover, the Ministry of Health statistics show an estimated 740 million people are exposed to secondhand smoke, mostly in places like restaurants, bars and workplaces, The China Daily reports.

The smoking ban has been issued by the Ministry of Health, which applies to places such as hotels, restaurants, bars and public transportation.

According to a manager of a restaurant in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, some people still disregarded the ban and smoked in public.

“We will try stopping customers who smoke in our restaurant, but for those people who refuse to go outside to smoke, to be frank, we can do nothing,” said the hotel manager.

It seems to be difficult for China to implement its smoking ban as most of the people refuse to give up smoking.

“My friends will give me strange looks if I refuse to smoke with them. Besides, distributing cigarettes has become a tradition in many Chinese places, and that can hardly change overnight,” said the 29-year-old man, who is addicted to smoking. (ANI)

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