Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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Shanghai Enforces Stricter Smoking Ban in Public Place

Shanghai smoking ban

(Photo : Pixabay) Shanghai Enforces Stricter Smoking Ban in Public Places

Shanghai officials have recently implemented a more comprehensive smoking ban that would cover all indoor public venues and work places across the city.

The new regulation, approved by the Shanghai People's Congress Wednesday this week, primarily aims to protect people from the hazards of second hand smoke.

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The new regulation prescribes that smoking will be banned at artistic performances, as well as in sporting venues, open areas at maternity and infant hospitals and bus stops, reported the China Daily

Those we are caught smoking in prohibited areas will be fined from 50 to 200 yuan ($7.35 to $29.40), while organizations in Shanghai that would be unable to enforce the smoking ban will be fined 2,000 to 30,000 yuan.

It can be recalled that in 2010, the city identified smoking areas in some indoor venues, which included restaurants, entertainment venues, railway stations, and airports. But,  experts pointed out that such a move was still insufficient to protect people from the ill-effects of secondhand smoke, which led to the passage of the latest anti-smoking regulation.

Based on the latest figures from the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission, smoking in prohibited areas decreased from 18.6 percent in 2010 to 8.5 percent by the end of last year. However, much still needs to be done to enforce the smoking ban and eliminate the health hazard, as 23 percent of people aged 15-69 in Shanghai are smokers.

According to Wu Jinglei, director of the commission, "This figure shows the importance of implementing such a regulation, and it also reflects the necessity to ban smoking in all public areas." Meanwhile, opinion makers are optimistic that the smoking ban in Shanghai will be successfully implemented.

"Well, there is one big reason giving me hope that this particular ban, above all the others that have been put in place with limited effect over the last few years, will finally manage to eliminate the risk of secondhand smoke in Shanghai's public places," wrote Andy Borham of the Shanghai Times

Boreham noted that the anti-smoking regulation will be effectively enforced because of the promotion of the 12345 hotline, which citizens can call in order to report on those who are violating the law.

In particular, the opinion columnist noted that the hotline also accepts calls from foreigners or from non-Chinese speaking residents who would like to file complaints against offenders of Shanghai's smoking ban.  

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