Officials urged to set anti-smoking example

Updated: 2013-12-03 19:05


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BEIJING - Anti-smoking advocacy group ThinkTank has urged Chinese government officials to set an example in tobacco control.

Officials should not consume tobacco products bought with government funds or accept any tobacco gifts, and they should refrain from smoking in public, according to Thinktank's annual report released on Tuesday.

The report also suggested that officials should not attend ceremonies or other activities related to tobacco advertising, a practice which is common in provinces and cities where the tobacco industry is a major source of tax revenue.

Wang Ke'an, director of ThinkTank, said officials represent the image of the government, and a good example set by government officials could help with tobacco control in China.

China is the world's largest cigarette producer and consumer. Its number of smokers exceeds 300 million, with at least 740 million nonsmokers regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

In 2003, China signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and it became effective in January 2006. The FCTC requires a reduction in tobacco supply as well as consumption.

Last December, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Health and six other government departments released the China Tobacco Control Program (2012-2015) to reduce tobacco use and planting. It is the first state-level initiative on tobacco control.

"Public health is the very fundamental basis to realize the 'Chinese dream' of the whole nation, and tobacco control is an important campaign to improve public health," said Wang.