Lawmaker proposes tobacco sales bans around schools

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 7, 2011
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A Chinese lawmaker has said tobacco sales bans around the nation's schools should be imposed, noting that cigarettes are currently too easy for youngsters to obtain.

Jin Changrong, councilor for Shanghai municipal government and also a judge, said the current laws banning tobacco sales to youngsters were too general and hard to enforce, during the ongoing parliamentary session.

According to law, tobacco can not be sold to people under 18 years old but they can buy it even so, Jin added.

He said there should be a national regulation of a 500-meter radius ban of tobacco from schools, although some local governments have imposed the 50 or 100-meter radius ban from elementary and middle schools.

Further, Jin called for outlawing all forms of tobacco promotions to adolescents, including sponsorships or named donations, as well as banning schools and youth organizations from joining any activities sponsored or organized by tobacco companies.

"It's very short-sighted of some local governments to invest heavily in the tobacco industry. The health cost and loss of productivity resulting from smoking far outweighs the industry's tax contribution," said Jin.

A total 301 million Chinese, or 28 percent of the population, smoke cigarettes and 740 million people, including 182 million children, were exposed to second-hand smoke in 2010, according to the report "Tobacco Control and China's Future," released in January this year, by the Chinese Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Smoking killed 1.2 million people in China in 2005, and the number of deaths was expected to reach more than three million in 2030, said the report, quoting the World Health Organization (WHO) and China CDC.

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