The World Health Organization is the international body tasked to implement health and sanitation gag orders and clinical transformation if need be. One of its undying campaigns is to have a tobacco-free world in the coming years. The upcoming World No Tobacco Day on May 31, 2011, has been used as a reminder to all international affiliates of the WHO to fully comply and adopt this internationally accepted principle.
China has ratified this into law as early as December of 2009. Key cities from all over China have been put on the list to try the effectiveness of smoking ban in public places. Smoking regulation in China has been implemented in most outdoor public spaces to counter the rising number of secondary smokers. Public places like markets, department stores, parking areas, open parks, street corners and almost any intersection and open space where the general public would flaunt their love for tobacco were among the many affected areas of the smoking ban. This is an effort of China to lessen the smoking population if not to totally eradicate the same.
The China Smoking Revised Regulations recently expanded the list of public areas where the smoking ban should be implemented. Although most of restaurants and other workplaces have been given a 1 year transition before the full implementation of the total ban for indoor public places, the government saw it fit to revise the regulation to ensure full compliance from these entities and establishments. Indoor and outdoor public venues include educational institutions, hospitals, indoor areas of parks, tourist attractions, government agencies, banks, gyms, race track areas and all other similar venues where there is a heavy traffic of people both children and adults, have been placed under the mandatory smoking ban.
To intensify the campaign, in Shenzhen alone, the penalty for every infraction has become RMB500 from the original amount of RMB20. The revised smoking regulation in China also prohibits the distribution of tobacco products as a marketing gift or souvenirs, otherwise a fine of RMB100,000 shall be burdened by these campaign promoters. For those underage youth who will be purchasing cigarettes, a fine of RMB 20,000 shall be imposed upon them. Venue managers for public indoor and outdoor spaces who shall fail to implement the smoking ban in their respective areas shall not go afloat without paying the fine of RMB10,000 – RMB30,000. Although the revised smoking regulations in China failed to itemize the penalties for the violation of the law, the public is reminded and assured that every municipal legislative body will have to put up their own list of penalties for every infraction as Shenzhen and Hong Kong did in their respective areas.
Although the success of this law still hinges upon the discipline of individual smokers, the collaborative effort of the government and venue owners and managers to fully implement the smoking ban regardless of who holds a cigarette will considerably lessen the number secondary smokers and eventually and hopefully the first hand smokers. Some might say that kicking the habit is difficult, but those who were able to free themselves from this killing hobby have been grateful to have quit sooner and are very much thankful for the government’s effort to adopt a smoke free zone.
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