Beijing rakes in over 1 million in fines after ‘toughest’ smoking ban

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-26 21:38:01

Since smoking was banned in Beijing's public places in June last year, the health authorities have raked in 1.12 million yuan ($170,800) in fines as of April, according to a recent survey.

The implementation of the city-wide indoor smoking ban in the capital, dubbed the "toughest ever smoking ban" in China, was followed by a series of campaigns and supervision efforts and is expected to become nationwide in the future.

An undercover survey initiated by the Beijing Municipal Patriotic Health Campaign Committee Office found that among the 5,100 residents of the capital surveyed, 84.2 percent were aware of the ban, 87.5 percent knew that they would be fined if caught smoking in a non-smoking zone and 56.2 percent saw a future in which smoking is banned in more places.

Improvements have ever been seen in restaurants in the capital's rural areas, though they still lag behind urban eateries. According to the survey, before the ban, less than 4 percent of rural restaurants displayed "No smoking" signs and people were found smoking in two thirds of business. Six months after the ban 81.6 percent of restaurants had "No smoking" signs and the smoking rate dropped to just a third.

The Beijing health authorities told The Beijing News on Thursday that the city's large migrant worker population has made enforcing the ban difficult, as has the absence of an effective system for supervising offices, smaller restaurants and entertainment venues.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning said that they plan to increase checks on hospitals, KTVs and Internet cafes and urge related agencies at the county and township levels to better enforce the ban.

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