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Enforcement of such regulations is bound to be an issue in a society in which smoking is so entrenched that almost half of all male doctors smoke and cigarette cartons are commonly exchanged as gifts. People commonly light up in hospital waiting rooms, video game arcades and even on domestic flights, despite set of regulations from 1991 that prohibit smoking in such places.
The new guidelines include fines of up to 30,000 yuan ($4,600) for some violations, but the Health Ministry was not specific. It was unclear if that maximum fine would apply to smoking violations or to other regulations included in the new guidelines.
China has already missed a Jan. 9, 2011, deadline to ban smoking at public indoor venues, in accordance with a WHO-backed global anti-tobacco treaty.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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