On May 1st the Chinese government implemented a new smoking law that bans smoking in all public places country wide. More than one in three of the world’s cigarette smokers are Chinese, and it’s believed the habit causes more than one million deaths each year in China. That accounts for one fifth of people world-wide who die from smoking, according to the World Health Organization.
The move is aimed at providing help to stop smoking and reduce the number of deaths from smoking-related diseases and sky rocking smoking related health care costs.
Smoking is one of the greatest health threats China currently faces, government statistics show. Almost 30 per cent of adults in China smoke, about 300 million people — a number roughly equal to the entire U.S. population.
So, what’s the punishment for smoking in a place where you’re not supposed to? 30,000 Renminbi, which is about four-and-a-half thousand dollars. But, like everything in China, it’s all about the enforcement. Many are questioning how strongly the ban will be enforced. Experts say huge revenues from the state-owned tobacco monopoly hinder anti-smoking measures.
Some believe that the government has not moved quickly enough in providing the necessary measures as help to stop smoking in the country. Previously, the Ministry of Health had only banned smoking in hospitals.