A no-smoking sign in Macau. (Photo/Xinhua)
China plans to enact a smoking ban in all public spaces, decrease the area of its tobacco farms as well as enlarge the warning signs on the packaging of tobacco products by 2015, reports the Chinese-language Beijing Times.
The National Tobacco Control Plan issued by eight national-level departments says it is expected that a national smoking ban in all public places will be enacted within three years. This is the first time a national plan has mentioned a widespread ban, although the government promised last year that it would ban smoking in all work and public spaces, according to an agreement with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control by the World Health Organization in 2006.
The plan specifically points out that the country will decrease the numbers of tobacco companies and brands, as well as tobacco farms, by 2015, in a bid to establish a unified and official tobacco industry.
China currently bans direct tobacco advertisements. However, tobacco ads still creep up along highways and tourism sites. The latest plans would ban ads on the internet and in public spaces including museums, libraries, hospitals, schools and public transportation systems.
It also forbids tobacco companies to promote their products through charity or activities for public welfare or environmental protection. Any sign or trademark related to tobacco is also banned in movies and TV dramas.
The authorities also plan to enlarge the warning sign on the packing of tobacco product from a 30% on the backside packing to 50%, ensuring the warnings are large, specific, arresting and clear.