Smokers in Beijing now have to butt out their cigarettes when
taking a cab as the city will launch a non-smoking campaign in all
taxis starting this Sunday in line with its promise to host a
smoke-free Olympics next year.
The campaign, launched by the city's Health Bureau as well as
the transportation administration and traffic watchdogs, will ask
both drivers and passengers to put out their cigarettes during the
drive—or they will face punishment by traffic authorities, the
Beijing News reported today.
Details of the punishments are expected to be announced to the
public at the campaign's launch ceremony on Sunday, the report
In August, the Beijing Transportation Administration Bureau
issued a notice prohibiting cab drivers from smoking on the job.
Violators will face a fine of up to 200 yuan (US$26.13), the report
The new campaign is part of plans to hold green Olympics, which
begin on August 8 next year. The Beijing Olympic Organization
Committee has already declared that the Olympic Village, stadiums
and vehicles used for the event should all be smoke free, while
sales of cigarettes are not allowed in any Olympic-related
But the smoking ban aroused some concerns among drivers who
worried that passengers will get angry if they not allow to smoke
in the car.
"We have no right to force passengers to butt out and neither
can we refuse to offer service if the passenger insists on
smoking," a cab driver of Yinjian Taxi Co told the newspaper.
"It is impossible to report to the authorities that someone is
smoking in my car as our names and contacts are all listed in the
cab, which means we may easily be trailed if those angry passengers
want to take revenge," the driver added.
(Shanghai Daily September 20, 2007)