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Group calls for nationwide ban

02 Jan 2019. Anti-tobacco campaigners in China have renewed calls for a national ban on smoking in public spaces, China Daily reported.

Many provinces and cities have raised taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products and rolled out regulations to protect citizens against secondhand smoke, according to the report.

The Beijing-based Thinktank Research Centre for Health Development, which lobbies for stricter tobacco controls, called last week for the creation of a smoke-free environment for the public. The latest draft of a basic medical care and health promotion law, which was released in October, is under review by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. It highlights publicity campaigns to curb smoking and higher taxes for tobacco products.

Wu Yiqun, deputy director of the Thinktank Research Centre for Health Development, said tobacco companies are hindering the launch of a nationwide ban. “At the very least, we should stop advertising and sponsorship by tobacco businesses and introduce larger graphic warnings on all tobacco products,” she was quoted as saying. “A healthy China must be smoke free.”

Twenty-one Chinese cities have banned smoking in indoor public spaces, with the latest being Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, in November. Zhangjiakou, co-host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, is expected to join them soon.