Home / Government / Local Governments News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Shanghai ponders smoking ban for public venues
Adjust font size:

Smoking would be banned in all workplaces and public areas under proposals that are now being discussed by Shanghai authorities involved in drafting Shanghai's first comprehensive smoking control act.

At least one anti-smoking advocate has even suggested that pedestrians walking on public sidewalks should be told to snuff it out.

The extent of the possible restrictions, and the timing on when they might be implemented, were uncertain yesterday. Those close to the issue could say only that a smoking-control law is now being discussed by the legislative affairs office of the Shanghai People's Congress and the Shanghai Health Bureau - and has been for some time.

"In order to better control smoking and protect non-smokers' health, local health authorities are going to issue a law, which is in process," Song Guofan, a Shanghai Health Bureau official, said yesterday. "But it is difficult to say when the law will be issued, since legislation is a complicated process."

Shanghai began to confront smoking controls in the 1990s, when a rule was issued to ban lighting up in public places such as hospitals, schools, larger stores and indoor stadiums.

The rule failed to include restaurants and many other public venues, and there were no concrete punishments, making the effort largely ineffective.

Li Mingzhu of the Shanghai Tobacco Control Office said her agency has spent about a year investigating smoking issues under the direction of the health bureau.

"Our suggestion to ban smoking in all workplaces, public venues and public transportation is in line with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which went into force in 2005 and was also signed by China," she said. "It has concrete smoking control measures, like health warnings on cigarette packages, restricting tobacco advertising and protecting against the effects of passive smoking."

Even without a law, anti-smoking forces are seeking to curb the habit through persuasion and education. While the Olympics were being held in Beijing this summer, Shanghai tried to turn the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall into a non-smoking street.

"Volunteers asked people to refrain from smoking on that street," Li said. "The effort ran smoothly, as many people cooperated. But I don't think it will happen again soon."

For those who want to quit, there's help on the horizon.

Representatives of the tobacco control office under the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention will hold a meeting in Shanghai today to discuss ways to help people stop smoking and improve treatment for smoking-related diseases.

(Shanghai Daily December 5, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
Questions and Answers More
Q: What kind of law is there in place to protect pandas?
A: In order to put the protection of giant pandas and other wildlife under the law, the Chinese government put the protection of rare animals and plants into the Constitution.
Useful Info
- Who's Who in China's Leadership
- State Structure
- China's Political System
- China's Legislative System
- China's Judicial System
- Mapping out 11th Five-Year Guidelines
- Chinese Embassies
- International Department, Central Committee of CPC
- State Organs Work Committee of CPC
- United Front Work Department, Central Committee of CPC