In the run-up to the Olympics, Beijing wants more smoke-free
hotel rooms, and is planning to raise the proportion in each hotel
to at least 70 percent.
Public opinion is sought by the Legislative Affairs Office of
Beijing's municipal government. Citizens in Beijing can put forward
their opinions and suggestions on the Internet from January 21 till
The smoking ban will build on 1996 regulations and could be
expanded to more public places including fitness centers and
cultural relics sites, offices, meeting rooms, dining halls,
toilets, aisles and lifts in buildings belonging to government or
In addition, the outdoor smoking area should not be where the
public has to pass through, says the new regulation, posted on the
official website of the legislative affairs office
However, fines are only planned to be small -- up to 50 yuan
(US$6.9), says the regulation.
As the host city for the August 8-24 Games, Beijing wants
smoking bans in all hotels that provide services for athletes and
other Games workers, and all competition venues and restaurants in
the Olympic Village by June.
The city has also banned smoking in hospitals, schools,
restaurants and other places.
From October 1 last year, Beijing banned smoking in the city's
66,000 cabs, and imposed a fine of 100 yuan to 200 yuan (US$14 to
28) on drivers if caught smoking in cabs.
China has pledged non-smoking Olympics and Green Olympics, and
this year's event will be the first non-smoking Olympic Games after
the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), of which China
is a signatory, went into effect in 2005.
About 350 million people in China smoke, statistics from the
Ministry of Health show. That is about 26 percent of the country's
population and a third of the world's smoking population. About 1
million people die from smoking-related diseases each year.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)