considers tougher tobacco controls: Xinhua
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[November 25, 2014]
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China, the
world's biggest tobacco market, is considering a draft regulation that
would ban indoor smoking, limit outdoor smoking and end tobacco
advertising, the state-run Xinhua news agency has reported.
The draft, published by the legislative affairs office of the State
Council, or cabinet, and open for public consultation, included
plans to curtail smoking scenes in films and TV shows, Xinhua said
in a report published late on Monday.
China faces a smoking-related health crisis, with more than 300
million smokers and hundreds of millions more exposed to second-hand
smoke each year. However, cigarettes are part of China's social
fabric and advocates of tougher smoking regulations have faced
difficulty pushing through controls.
The government's heavy dependence on tobacco taxes has been a major
impediment to anti-smoking efforts. Last year, the tobacco industry
contributed more than 816 billion yuan ($131.70 billion) to
government coffers, an annual rise of nearly 14 percent.
Sources told Reuters in September that intense lobbying by the
powerful state tobacco monopoly had resulted in the weakening of
controversial legislation that had meant to introduce a complete
The draft regulation would ban indoor smoking in public places and
outdoor spaces in kindergartens, schools, colleges, women's and
children's hospitals and in fitness venues, Xinhua said. The draft
also prohibits selling cigarettes to minors through vending
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It urged civil servants, teachers and medical staff to take the lead
in tobacco control, saying teachers and medical workers would not be
allowed to smoke in front of students or patients.
(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Paul Tait)
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