NPC deputies urged to not smoke
Updated: 2016-03-04 07:54
By Cui Jia(China Daily)
Deputies to the 12th National People's Congress are urged to strictly follow Beijing's smoking ban during its annual session this year.
Different from previous years, smoking areas have not been provided for deputies in indoor public places, in their hotels or near conference rooms.
After a meeting of the delegation of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Thursday afternoon, Aziz Musar, commissioner of southern Xinjiang's Hotan prefecture, noticed that the usual smoking corner just a few steps away from the conference room in the Jingxi Hotel was no longer there.
"I was about to ask for an ashtray, and then I remembered Beijing has banned smoking in public places," he said.
"It's a good thing. Maybe the ban can even help me quit smoking," said Aziz, who, during the past three annual sessions, often joined other delegates at the smoking corner during breaks.
Observing Beijing's smoking ban has been listed by the NPC as one of the disciplines for deputies this year.
China's toughest smoking ban took effect in Beijing on June 1 last year. The regulation extended existing smoking bans to include all indoor public areas and workplaces, plus a number of outdoor areas, including schools, seating areas in sports stadiums and hospitals where women or children are treated.
Violators will face fines of up to 200 yuan ($31), a twentyfold increase from the 10 yuan penalty stipulated by the previous regulation, which was adopted in 1996. Owners of buildings classified as public places, such as restaurants, who fail to prevent smokers from lighting up face fines of up to 10,000 yuan.
The Jingxi Hotel is where five delegations are staying for this year's NPC session, which will begin on Saturday. A hotel staff member who spoke on condition of anonymity said that if the deputies say they want to smoke, she will tell them about the ban and direct them to smoking areas outside the hotel.
Wang Jing, housekeeping manager at the Beijing Conference Center, one of the venues for members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the center assigned staff members to persuade members of the CPPCC not to smoke. The CPPCC annual session began on Thursday.
(China Daily USA 03/04/2016 page3)