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Health ministry bans smoking in its building

[ 2010-05-11 11:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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Smoking will no longer be allowed inside the building of the Ministry of Health from May 31, making it the country's first central government department to ban smoking indoors.

A working group led by Health Minister Chen Zhu has been formed to strictly implement the ban inside the 19-story building, Yang Qing, a division director of the ministry, told a regular news briefing on Monday.

"The latest initiative is actually part of the goal announced previously to ban smoking indoors at health institutions and administrations nationwide by the end of 2011," Yang said.

A previous survey already found out that more than half of Chinese male doctors smoke.

Apart from educational measures like posters inside the building, those caught breaking the latest ban will be punished and violators might not get promoted, he said.

China has 350 million smokers and about 540 million non-smokers get exposed to second-hand smoke, official statistics showed.

Smoking-related diseases also kill at least 1 million people every year.

In response, China ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2005 and joined global anti-smoking efforts.

Under the FCTC, all member countries are obliged to undertake a comprehensive ban on tobacco in public places by 2011.

To date, 17 member countries including France and Canada have fulfilled a 100 percent smoking ban at wide-ranging public venues, a WHO report showed.

Due to concerns about tax revenues and the livelihood of tobacco farmers, China has yet to put in place a nationwide law or regulation on tobacco and smoking, analysts said.


1. What central government department will be the first to implement the ban?

2. What percentage of Chinese doctors smoke?

3. How many smokers does China have?


1. Ministry of Health.

2. More than half.

3. 350 million.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Health ministry bans smoking in its building

About the broadcaster:

Health ministry bans smoking in its building

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.