New smoking law to be passed soon
Lawmakers were close to voting a tough law to ban smoking in offices, restaurants, bar and other indoor public places. The draft was shelved by the lawmakers since most of them found it controversial. Sources said if the regulation was passed it would be the strictest law of its kind in the country with the largest number of smokers in the world.
Health experts say the legislation is in a crusade to control tobacco consumption which could jump start a nationwide campaign for a comprehensive protection for the 740 million people exposed to secondhand smoke. Legislators plan to continue deliberating and hopes to pass the bill soon.
The regulation will impose a total ban in smoking in offices, schools, medical establishments, public transport, shopping malls, and other venues. on January 1, 2013 the ban will be extended to cover hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, salons and other entertainment venues. wet markets will also be included in the list. violators of the regulations will be fined up to 5,000 yuan, people caught lighting cigarettes in smoke free places will be fined 50 yuan.
China has no comprehensive national tobacco law, partial smoking bans were relying on local legislation, and were not fully imposed since government can’t afford to hire teams to specialize in smoking ban inspection.