Shenzhen to launch nation’s harshest smoking regulation

By Wang Yiqiong Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-27 23:18:01

Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province will carry out the country's strictest smoking control regulation starting on March 1.

People who violate the revised regulation will face a fine of between 50 and 500 yuan ($8.16 to $81.60), Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported.

Operators of business venues will be fined a maximum 30,000 yuan for inaction if smoking is found in their venues.

Organizations that give out promotional materials for tobacco are subject to a maximum fine of 100,000 yuan, the New Express reported.

According to new regulation, smoking is prohibited in government buildings, schools and medical institutions. People may smoke in special zones in entertainment venues, such as bars and teahouses for the next three years. After December 31, 2016, smoking will be banned in all public venues and public transportation vehicles.

In addition to the health authorities, seven other government departments will jointly push forward the regulation in the city, including the bureau of culture, sport and tourism and the public security bureau, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Sun Meihua, deputy director of the Health and Family Planning Commission, said the new regulation gives everyone the right to demand that smokers stop smoking in public places.

The regulation encourages people to report violations to government organizations. Authorities must inform the results of the processing within 15 business days, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported.

Cui Xiaobo, a professor at Capital Medical University, said that punishing business operators for not stopping smoking is a significant move. "They must keep the law in their hearts, instead of worrying they might lose customers," Cui said.

Yang Jie of the Tobacco Control Office of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention echoed Yang's view, saying it will be a good thing if the regulation is executed well.

Both experts agree that having departments jointly enforce the law is an intelligent move by Shenzhen. Cui said the health system alone is weak in its ability to implement the law, and is unable to handle so many smokers in the city.

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