BEIJING, – China will ban smoking in all indoor public places, including offices and public vehicles, in accordance with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) starting January next year.
The Health Ministry’s community health department director, Yang Qing, told a news conference that medical institutions and health administrations nationwide would take the lead to ban smoking staring this month, and hoped that at least half of these places would become smoke-free zone by October.
“Health ministry employees are encouraged to quit smoking. A 500 yuan bonus will be given to those who quit smoking habit for a year, and those who violate the indoor smoking ban will be punished.”
The ministry also banned its employees from giving and receiving tobacco as gifts.
According to ministry statistics, China now has 350 million smokers, mostly men, but smoking has also become a trend for young females.
Statistics also show that in China, one million die of smoking-related diseases each year.
The Chinese government signed the FCTC in 2003 and ratified it in 2005. Since then, the central and local governments had ramped up anti-smoking campaigns.