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Shanghai considers city-wide ban on smoking in public areas

Shanghai has submitted a draft amendment on a city-wide ban on smoking to the legislative body. It follows the growing trend of anti-smoking rules across China. Officials are seeking input from various government agencies.

Currently in Shanghai, there are 13 types of public areas where smoking is banned. If the amendment bill is passed, the new legislation will be a complete ban which applies to all public venues. Shanghai then will be third city in China after Shenzhen and Beijing which have enacted a city-wide ban on smoking.

It’s not clear yet if these smoking bans are actually stopping smokers from lighting up.The figures from the medical side is appalling. More than 1 million people in China die every year in tobacco related illnesses.

About 740 million are routinely exposed to secondhand smoke, contributing to another 100,000 deaths annually. Local health authorities conducted a survey last year, it showed 94 percent of Shanghai residents are in favor of the law.”

“I think it’s very necessary. I don’t smoke and it’s very unpleasant for me to smell [?inhale? breathe?] smoke in some public areas.”

“Many people in public areas are unaware of others. Most women don’t smoke but they are the victims of secondhand smoke. It’s not fair. I am also a mother. I’m worried about my kid in some public areas with smokers. I think a city-wide ban on smoking is a good move.”

“I fully support the move of the new legislation. The current regulation doesn’t cover all the public areas. We are exposed to a lot of risks from secondhand smoke, which isn’t fair to non-smokers. I think the reason for the limited effect of the current regulation is that enforcement isn’t strict. The fine is affordable and it’s hard to get evidence when someone’s smoking and report to the appropriate departments or have them find it. I think the new legislation should focus more on that. What really matters is the effectiveness of enforcement.”

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