China considers nationwide smoking ban

World Today

After numerous attempts in the past at curbing smoking in public places, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of tobacco is taking an unprecedented stand on the issue with plans for a nationwide ban on smoking in public places.

China considers nationwide smoking ban

China considers nationwide smoking ban

After numerous attempts in the past at curbing smoking in public places, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of tobacco is taking an unprecedented stand on the issue with plans for a nationwide ban on smoking in public places.

China is mulling a nationwide ban on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places, according to a draft regulation released on Nov. 24.

The ban would outlaw smoking in all indoor public spaces, which is prevalent throughout China, and even limit outdoor smoking to designated areas. It would also cut smoking scenes from film and TV, and forbid the sale of cigarettes through vending machines.

Offenders would be fined up to 500 yuan if they are caught breaking the rules.

On paper, the regulations outlined are the strictest they have ever been. But with the cheap prices and widespread popularity of cigarettes, implementing this draft could prove tricky.

Experts say the world’s largest consumer of tobacco faces a mounting toll from chronic smoking-related diseases. China is home to over 300 million smokers and the World Health Organization estimates that smoking kills more than one million Chinese people each year.

Adding to the list of challenges, the new regulations could hurt China’s economy. The state-owned China National Tobacco Corporation accounts for 43 percent of the world’s cigarette production, according to the World Lung Foundation. Revenues from the country’s vigorous tobacco industry almost tripled in size between 2005 and 2013, topping $140 billion, according to official figures.

This story is compiled with information from the CCTV News Content.