Beijing rakes in 2.2 million yuan in fines with 'toughest' smoking ban

Updated: 2016-07-21 16:34


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(ECNS) -- Both the number of people smoking and tobacco sales have decreased since Beijing implemented its toughest ban on smoking one year ago, local officials said.

More than 2.2 million yuan ($330,000) in penalty fees have been charged by Beijing's health inspection authorities and local commerce departments since the capital prohibited smoking in all indoor areas, including public places, workplaces and in public transportation facilities on June 1 last year, officials said during the 14th Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

By May 31, Beijing's health authorities had sent inspectors out more than 154,000 times and inspected 75,822 households. Local commerce departments have investigated and punished 310 businesses that broke the smoking ban, and shut down 108 tobacco shops without sales licenses.

"Fewer people smoke in public places after the ban took effect," said Sun Kanglin, deputy director of the standing committee of Beijing People's Congress.

Figures from the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control said people smoking in public places decreased from 11.3 percent to 3.8 percent after the regulation took effect.

In addition, more people in Beijing plan to quit smoking. About 46 percent of people surveyed said they have plans to stop smoking compared to 11.6 percent two years ago. Tobacco sales also decreased 2.71 percent in 2015, according to statistics.

Sun said the municipal government would continue enhancing education for young people and the immigrant population, and forbid tobacco sales near schools.

He also suggested putting anti-smoking content in middle school health education books, and place smoking control notices around airports and railway stations to help raise awareness among the immigrant population.