China bans officials from smoking in public

December 30, 2013
In this photo taken Sunday, March 4, 2012, Chinese delegates attending a meeting at the Great Hall of the People smoke cigarettes in Beijing, China. China's state media said Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, China has banned its officials from smoking in public to set an example to the rest of the country that has the world's largest number of smokers. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China, which has the world's largest number of smokers, appears to be making another effort at limiting smoking by banning officials from lighting up in public.

The official Xinhua News Agency said that officials are not allowed to smoke in schools, hospitals, sports venues, on or any other places where smoking is banned, or to smoke or offer cigarettes when performing official duties. They also cannot use public funds to buy cigarettes, and within Communist Party or government offices tobacco products cannot be sold nor adverts displayed.

China, with a population of 1.35 billion, has more than 300 million smokers.

Xinhua said Sunday the rules were contained in a circular from the Communist Party's central committee and the State Council, or China's Cabinet.

There is no nationwide law banning smoking in indoor public places, but the government has tried to ban the practice in the past. In 2011, the Health Ministry issued guidelines banning smoking in venues including hotels and restaurants, but these are not strictly enforced. Experts say huge revenues from the state-owned tobacco monopoly hinder anti- measures.

Smoking, which is linked to an average annual death toll of 1.4 million people in China in recent years, is one of the greatest health threats the country faces, government statistics show. The annual number of cigarettes sold in the country increased by 50 percent to 2.52 trillion in 2012 compared with 10 years earlier, according to the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, which is overseen by health authorities.

"Smoking remains a relatively universal phenomenon in public venues. Some officials smoke in , which has not only jeopardized the environment and public health, but tarnished the image of party and government offices and leaders and has a negative influence," the circular read, according to Xinhua.

Explore further: Europe and electronic cigarettes

Related Stories

Europe and electronic cigarettes

June 1, 2013
France said on Friday it would apply the same bans to electronic cigarettes as it does to tobacco but would not completely outlaw the popular smokeless product.

Switzerland bans e-cigarettes in public transport

November 12, 2013
Use of e-cigarettes in public transport in Switzerland will be banned as of next month, the national association of mass transit operators said Tuesday.

Vietnam law bans smoking in public

June 19, 2012
Vietnam has passed a law banning smoking in public places and all tobacco advertising, an official said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.