Smoking ban is unattainable goal: experts

16:21, January 04, 2011      

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China is expected to fall short of fulfilling its international tobacco control commitment that calls for the country to adopt a comprehensive smoking ban in most public places early this month, experts said.

In 2003, China agreed to outlaw smoking in public places by this coming Sunday when it signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. However, customers in the majority of restaurants, Internet cafes,
hospitals and in trains are free to light up as they were many years ago.

"I could still smoke in most restaurants, and have never been told to stop," Li Zhiwei, a Beijinger, told the Global Times Monday.

China's signature to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was made in 2003 in conjunction with the World Health Organization.

"Lack of investment and supervision in tobacco control are the main reasons for the failed execution of the treaty," Li Xingming, a professor at the School of Health Management and Education from the Capital Medical University, told the Global Times Monday.

Nearly 154 cities have issued regulations banning smoking in public places, accounting for about 46 percent of 337 cities throughout China.
The health department in Jinan, Shandong Province, is expected to revise its smoking ban by establishing more specific punishment for those who violate the public smoking bans, Chengdu Business Daily reported Sunday.

China also failed to carry out other FCTC agreements such as lowering tobacco consumption and cigarette production, experts said.
Li said the government should draft a law on tobacco control and introduce other tobacco control measures such as public education and supervision.

By Ge Lili, Global Times
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