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RMB30,000 Fines Under Shenzhen Smoking Ban

Shenzhen smokers: take it outside.

That’s the message from the government today after the city’s already far-reaching smoking ban was extended into the indoor areas smokers favor the most, namely private KTV rooms, bars and massage parlors.

Individual smokers face fines between RMB50-500, while establishments that allow smoking indoors may be slapped with fines up to RMB30,000, according to a report carried by the Shenzhen Daily. Ouch.

The smoking ban was originally introduced in 2014, but a grace period was extended to areas that smokers traditionally favored to give the establishments a chance to begin enforcement.

Internet cafes, in particular, have failed to do so, with the rate of smoking increasing since 2014. Shenzhen’s Center for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention found smoking in 75 percent of Internet cafes recently, according to the same Shenzhen Daily report, a jump from 51 percent in 2014.

Queries submitted to the official anti-smoking WeChat account (szkyws) on Friday revealed establishments that continue to allow smoking will first be warned and later may face fines, with the onus on the businesses to stop smokers from lighting up indoors.

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