left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Activists: Revision of anti-smoking law a 'setback'

Updated: 2014-09-17 07:37
By Shan Juan (China Daily)

Anti-smoking activists are denouncing Beijing's latest draft of its long-awaited smoking control regulation because of loopholes they say allow smoking indoors in public places.

Activists: Revision of anti-smoking law a 'setback'
Special: China's moves against smoking 
Activists: Revision of anti-smoking law a 'setback'
Survey exposes teenage smoking risk 
The draft, which will be submitted for a second review this month, bans smoking in shared indoor workspaces but allows smoking in designated hotel guest rooms or suites that have ventilation systems.

"Once passed, the draft can be a setback to the capital's long-term plans for smoke-free public indoor areas and might create a negative impact on other regions in China that have introduced or are planning to initiate anti-smoking laws and regulations," said Wu Yiqun, deputy director of the Think Tank Research Center for Health Development, a nongovernmental organization in Beijing.

The regulation, Wu said, will likely come into effect later this year or early next year after a third review in November.

Existing smoking control legislation in Chinese cities such as Harbin, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Changchun does not have the same loopholes as Beijing's latest draft, said Wang Qingbin, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law.

"Just think, who has an office all to themselves at work? Only high-ranking officials," said Yu Xiuyan, a researcher at the think tank. "It might create conflicts and inequality."

Wang shared Yu's sentiment.

"That makes enforcement of the regulation more complex, particularly when the notion of shared indoor work spaces is not clearly defined. Legislation aims to decrease the harmful effects from smoking and create a pleasant environment but the latest draft is against that notion," Wang said.

Wu, the deputy director of the think tank, said all public indoor areas, including offices and public transportation sites, should be "totally smoke-free under the law and regulations that aims to discourage people from smoking and protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke".

She said even in hotels with smoking rooms equipped with ventilation systems, hotel staff employees, such as cleaning maids, and other guests staying in adjacent rooms might be exposed to secondhand smoke.

"What's worse, ventilation systems might pollute the indoor areas," she said.

She did however praise the draft in working to specifically prevent youths from being exposed to smoking. The draft prohibits areas close to schools from selling tobacco products.

In addition, the draft bans advertisements for cigarettes and forbids tobacco companies from sponsoring events.




  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.