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Beijing seeks smoke-free Olympics
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Beijing has pledged a non-smoking Olympics and wants more smoke-free public places.

As the host city for the August 8-24 Games, Beijing wants smoking bans in all hotels that will provide services for the athletes and other Games related professionals, and also in all competition venues and restaurants in the Olympic Village by June.

The city has also called on other places, including hospitals, schools, and restaurants to ban smoking.

In a restaurant in Beijing, a Japanese customer who has lived in China for over ten years says he backs the "smoke free" policy.

"I will smoke less, and try gradually to quit smoking. This is a good chance for me."

Wei Bin, a manager of a chain restaurant in Beijing, also voiced his support.

"We really support this policy. We've decided to set aside non-smoking areas in all of our restaurants in China."

Statistics from the Ministry of Health show there are about 350 million smokers in China. That is about 26 percent of the country's population and a third of the world's smoking population.

People say when Beijing is embracing the summer Olympics, it also provide a good chance for people to abstain smoking.

(CRI February 13, 2008)

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