Stop smoking in public areas. This is the new law that bans smoking in Beijing starting from today. Smoking is now banned in public buildings, in the subway, in bars and schools. Those smoking near hospitals or schools will have to pay a higher fine, and other original measures have been introduced.
Under the legislation, lawbreakers in Beijing will be fined €30 and businesses that do not make their customers respect the law could be fined up to €1,500. Moreover, the new law establishes that who will be caught smoking for more than three times will be named on a government website for a whole month – a sort of “public pillory”. Even more, the Chinese government has announced the opening of a phone line useful to make anonymous complaints against people and businesses that do not demand and respect the ban.
China is both the main producer and consumer of tobacco in the world, counting over 300 million smokers. Recently, all commercial adverts of products related to tobacco have been banned too, and anti-smoking messages have appeared all over Beijing, on shiny red hoardings usually associated to the official slogans of the Communist Party.
That’s not all. The taxes on tobacco production have been raised, and this consequently will rise the cost of the cigarettes, that currently cost from €2 to €7. In China, smoking represents a health problem, in fact, according to statistics, more than a million Chinese die from smoking-related illnesses every year.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo