WHO Kicks Off #RUFREE Smoke-Free Drive in Beijing

By | Nov 26, 2015 09:57 AM EST
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Anti-smoking posters around Beijing

The association claims that the film did not heed to the state regulations that forbid smoking in public spaces, workplaces and public transport vehicles.(Photo : Getty Images)

The World Health Organization on Wedneday launched a  reminder on social media on indoor public area no smoking rules.

The campaign released 19 posters showing the adverse effects of second-hand smoking and thanking smokers for abiding the rule. Bearing the "#RUFREE?" (Are you smoke-free? and do you support smoke-free environments?) slogan, the public has been urged to spread the word via networking sites.

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China's WHO spokesperson Bernhard Schwartländer said "We know winter will make enforcement of the smoke-free law more challenging, as the cold weather will make it less convenient for smokers to get their tobacco fix. But we don't want smokers to conveniently forget about the smoke-free law! That's why we are launching this new campaign this week."

Since the new anti-smoking law came into full effect in June, the Commission of Health and Family Planning of Beijing reports that more than 200 businesses and nearly 600 smokers have already been punished and penalized last month for disobeying the new policy. The new regulation prohibits smoking on some outdoor and indoor public areas like bars, office, restaurants. 

"Creating a smoke-free Beijing is a long-term, continuing process. We have achieved much to date, as a result of strong public support. Now, we need to continue with our public campaigns to further educate the public about the harm of second-hand smoke, to further increase support for the Beijing smoke-free law, and to encourage smokers to quit. We need to lodge the idea of 'smoke-free Beijing' firmly in people's hearts," said Zhang Jianshu of the Beijing Association on Tobacco Control (BATC).

Every Wednesday, BATC volunteers will willingly roam around to support the new policy and commit to prevent at least three people from breaking the law. They will also consider at least three areas that need to be smoke free and hand out printed informational flyers. Schwartländer said "Supporting the Beijing law demonstrates how powerful grassroots action is in support of smoke-free policies."

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