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Plan for Nanjing Road to become smoke-free
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Shanghai's Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street will set up smoking areas in 23 stores along the busy shopping strip next month as the first step to turn the street into a smoke-free zone, the Huangpu District government said yesterday, a local newspaper reported.

Shop assistants will advise smokers to go to allocated smoking zones or bathrooms after they enter stores, the Youth Daily said, citing a district official in charge of health issues.

The smoking control area will include all the stores between Xizhang Road N and Zhengjiang Road C, including Bailian Shimao Plaza and Yong'an Store.

However, shop assistants will have no powers to force smokers to stay in the smoking areas. If smokers refuse to move to the special zones assistants will have no authority to issue fines, the report said, citing the official.

The purpose was to raise social awareness of the health issues of smoking in public places, the official added.

Outdoor bars and other areas in the open will not be categorized into smoking-control areas, the report said.

The district government has invited experts to help shop assistants with implementation of the policy. Training will be finished around next month, the report added.

The Yong'an Store and the Big Echo Karaoke Bar has already adopted the policy, the report said.

The district government will extend the smoking-control area if the policy is shown to be effective after two years, the official said.

The government conducted a survey among employees of stores and entertainment venues on the street in February.

More than 70 percent of respondents said they would be willing to execute the drive in their stores while more than 90 percent said they support the government's plan to turn the street into a "no-smoking street," the report said.

(Shanghai Daily April 7, 2008)

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