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Smoking ban extends to all indoor workplaces in Shanghai
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The Shanghai local health authorities have extended smoking bans from public venues to all indoor workplaces as measures to clear the city's air of cigarette smoke by 2011.

Part of a three-year campaign to eradicate passive smoking and stage a salubrious World Expo in 2010, the latest initiative will rid all government buildings, offices, schools and hospitals of harmful passive smoke, according to media reports on Wednesday.

"All places with ceilings and at least three walls will be defined as indoor areas where smoking will be strictly prohibited," Li Mingzhu, director of the tobacco control office under the municipal health bureau, said.

"No designated-smoking areas will be allowed in the smoke-free zones," she said. "This is to minimize the impact of second-hand smoking."

Signs heralding the bans will be in place at all restaurants, hotels and other entertainment venues by 2011.

So far, no-smoking areas have already been established in about 300 restaurants and hotels in the city, with a further 6,000 large and medium-sized such venues scheduled to have them in place by next year.

According to government statistics, China is home to some 350 million smokers, 1 million of whom die of smoking-related diseases each year. In Shanghai, one in four people enjoy a puff.

(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2009)

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