Marquise Brown | Contributing Writer
The Chinese government is considering tighter restrictions on smoking by making it illegal to smoke in public places. New Rules will be put into place banning smoking at certain outdoor areas like sports venue, restrict selling of tobacco to minors and force tobacco companies to include multiple warnings about the dangers of smoking prominently on their package labels, as was reported by the New York Times.
China is the world’s largest tobacco consumer in the world, and also the largest producer of tobacco in the world today. Its cheap prices doesn’t make the Chinese government levy taxes on tobacco products.
If this continues China will just be digging a deeper hole according to Vice President Joe Biden. “The Chinese have figured out that they have a giant environmental problem,” Biden commented. “Folks in Beijing, some days, literally can’t breathe. Over a million Chinese die prematurely every year because of air pollution.”
There is a huge push and priority this year to make smoking illegal in public areas. China’s government wants to slow down the consummation of tobacco in the Beijing streets. The nationwide Bejing law has been put into motion.
Several cities around China have banned smoking in public places but the enforcement of the law has been very relaxed. Beijing even pledged in 2008 for the Olympics to prohibit smoking from occurring in most public venues, including government run facilities. but most no smoking signs are frequently ignored by citizens.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission have proposed “Steps that range from beefing up the education on the dangers of tobacco to banning smoking in schools and hospitals.”
As China wants to continue to grow into a superpower it has to protect the interest of its citizens. it will be very interesting to see how much of an enforce the Chinese government will do to protect the health of others.