01 May '11, 4am

China launches nationwide ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and other public venues

China launches nationwide ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and other public venues

In a picture taken on April 28, a man smokes as he waits for the traffic lights in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP BEIJING - CHINA launched a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and other indoor public spaces on Sunday but few expect it to have much of an impact in the tobacco-hooked country with more than 300 million smokers. The nationwide prohibition is designed to bring China more in line with health regulations in developed countries but it faces a tough test in a nation where tobacco is deeply ingrained in the culture. Offering a cigarette is a common greeting among Chinese men while lighting up in elevators, buses or even in hospital waiting rooms is routine - highlighting the lack of public awareness about the health risks of smoking. Many health experts have warned that China, the world's largest producer and consumer of tobacco, faces a ticking health timebomb unless it c...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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