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Home > Information > News > China This Week
 
Beijing brought into effect new broadened regulations against smoking in more public places on Thursday, amid efforts to create a smoke-free Olympics. Compared with the 1996 regulations, smoking bans are expanded to more public venues including fitness centers, cultural relics sites, and offices, meeting rooms, dining halls, toilets, aisles and lifts in buildings belonging to government or private institutions.
Restaurants, Internet cafes, parks, waiting halls in airports, railway stations and coach stations are required to separate smoking and non-smoking areas as part of the new regulations.Hotels are told to offer smoke-free rooms or floors, but the regulations do not specify a proportion.
People caught smoking in forbidden areas will be fined 10 yuan (US$1.4) while enterprises and institutions that violate the ban face fines between 1,000 yuan and 5,000 yuan.Local authorities will dispatch about 100,000 inspectors to check the enforcement of the smoking bans.
The city had banned smoking in hospitals, kindergartens, schools, museums, sports venues and other places before the broadened regulations.
From Oct. 1 last year, it also banned smoking in the city's 66,000 cabs, and imposed a fine of 100 yuan to 200 yuan on drivers if caught smoking in cabs.China has pledged a non-smoking and green Olympics, and this year's event will be the first non-smoking Olympic Games after the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), of which China is a signatory, went into effect in 2005.About 350 million people in China smoke, statistics from the Ministry of Health show. That is about 26 percent of the country's population and a third of the world's smoking population. About 1 million people die from smoking-related diseases in the country each year.

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