The city of Shenzhen in China’s Guangdong province implemented from the beginning of this year a tobacco smoking ban in all indoor public places, according to a World Health Organization note.
“Shenzhen will join a growing list of cities around the world where smoking in indoor public venues is completely prohibited, without exception,” said Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO representative in China.
“A 100 percent smoke-free law is the only way to protect the people and visitors to this city from the toxic harms of second-hand smoke.
“There is no other way: there is simply no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.”
The Shenzhen tobacco-smoke-free law was said to be a ‘model law’, fully compliant with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
‘The law was adopted in October 2013 as the first comprehensive smoke-free law to be passed in China,’ the WHO noted. ‘However, a grace period was given to certain entertainment and leisure venues to fully comply with the law.’
The period of grace ended on December 31.
Under the law, tobacco smoking is banned also across some outdoor areas, including those associated with schools, educational and healthcare facilities, parks, stadiums and fitness clubs.
In addition, tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship are banned.
‘The law includes strong penalties and enforcement is closely co-ordinated between eight government departments and agencies,’ WHO noted. ‘The challenge now will be to ensure that inspectors have the resources they need and are granted complete access to obtain evidence of violations, and that penalties are consistently imposed.’
WHO said that a draft national smoke-free law was being debated at the State Council.