China adopts persuasive measures to make people quit smoking

Beijing: Health officials in the Chinese capital have adopted a policy of persuasion instead of imposing spot fines in enforcing a smoking ban that was clamped to polish the city’s image ahead of the Olympics.

In May the government imposed a ban on smoking in public areas, including sports venues, indoor areas in government offices, transport stations, schools and hospitals.

The regulation armed the inspectors with powers to fine errant smokers $1.5 but no fines had yet been imposed, Rao Yingsheng, Deputy Director of the Patriotic Hygiene and Sports Committee of the Beijing Health Bureau said.

The bureau had not yet transferred those powers to the inspectors as officials believed that a policy of persuasion and awareness was “more feasible.” “It is legally valid to impose a fine on violators, but in practice persuasion is a good alternative,” Mr. Rao said.

“Most people will put the cigarette out when inspectors advise them to. Stubborn illegal smokers who wont listen at all will be asked to get out of the public places,” he said.

Smoking has been banned at Olympic venues and at the National Acquatics Centre or the “Water Cube.” — PTI

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