China maps out tobacco control plan

17:10, March 25, 2011      

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Following China's Health Ministry announcement of a smoking ban in most public places, which will come into effect on May 1, prominent tobacco control expert and reputed health activist Yang Gonghuan has mapped out a detailed plan for the next five years that aims to "fully ban smoking in public locations" yesterday.

She noted that to achieve the aim as a workable national plan, it is essential to legislate at a national level as well as to operate the guarantee mechanism and run the tobacco control programs at a local level, including building up a supervising and evaluating system over the control efficiency.

She proposed that in 2011, the crucial first year of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period, more than half of the provincial cities, especially those with tobacco-control legislation, should meet the goal of a total ban on smoking in public areas. And ideally by the final year of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period, there should be a 100 percent ban in public locations in provincial A-level cities.

Yang has depicted the China's tobacco control blueprint for the next five to ten years: no smoking in indoor public areas, no tobacco advertisement in public areas, no tobacco promotions or sales to teenagers.

Yang is the deputy director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, director of China's National Office of Tobacco Control and a professor of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

By Li Yancheng, People's Daily Online

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