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Anti-smoking lobby say increase fines

[ 2009-05-19 11:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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An expert panel advocating a ban on smoking in public places has called on authorities in Beijing to double the 5,000-yuan fine. The fine is given out to establishments that fail to prevent smokers from lighting up on their premises.

A draft to revise the current anti-smoking regulations and raise the penalty will be completed by the end of 2010, Cui Xiaobo, a member of the panel, told China Daily yesterday.

"Harsher penalties for establishments will be more effective than going around fining individuals," Cui said.

The fine for individuals flouting smoking bans in the capital used to be a meager 10 yuan. Cui said certain legislative issues and the relatively small fine presented significant obstacles in their campaign against smoking.

The Beijing health bureau warned "245 institutions and persuaded over 2,400 smokers" to kick the habit from January to March this year, reported Jinghua Times last month.

Cui said he submitted his proposal after a survey last October. The survey of 6,000 citizens found that more than 70 percent of Beijing residents wanted the government to increase fines if it was serious about banning smoking in public places.

Regulations, effective May 1, 2008, clearly define non-smoking public venues and partly prohibited sites such as hotels, restaurants and training centers.

"Thanks to the ban, the rate of lighting cigarettes decreased to 21.5 percent last year, 1.5 percent lower than 2007," Cui said.

Just the thought of such a high fine already has Beijingers opting to take the 'No Smoking' sign seriously.

"Who wants to pay so much money as a fine? I'm going to put up so many 'no smoking' signs in my store that no one dares lighting up," said Wang Lin, 26, who runs a bookstore in the city.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of cigarettes, with nearly 2 trillion smoked every year.


1. What is the current fine handed out to establishments that fail to prevent smokers from lighting up on their premises?

2. Name three examples of non-smoking public venues and partly prohibited sites.

3. What nation is the world's largest producer and consumer of cigarettes?


1. 5,000 yuan.

2. Hotels, restaurants and training centers.

3. China.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Anti-smoking lobby say increase fines

About the broadcaster:

Anti-smoking lobby say increase fines

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.