It’s that time of year again; the Chinese media is chattering about the smoking ban, and there is talk of seriously implementing it, for real, and soon i.e. real soon. And there is more information on how the ban will be implemented since the last time we reported on it. And honestly, we’re just surprised the date hasn’t been pushed back yet.

So, this June, the ‘Beijing Smoking Control Regulation’ will be implemented. It’s the strictest regulation on tobacco ever: you will no longer be allowed to smoke anywhere that has a roof, in outside areas where children are prevalent, nor near historical and/or cultural relics.

To report people or organizations you can call up the municipal or county level health departments, who will then go to inspect the complaints and investigate. If you’d rather not do that, you can also send a letter to the health micro-planning administrative departments to report complaints. On top of that, there will also be monitoring groups throughout the entire city, Gao Xiaojun from the Beijing Patriotic Health Campaign Committee told China News.

Organizations that break the regulations will be fined RMB 100,000, and people that personally break the rules will be fined RMB 200.

The smoking ban has a long and sad history in China. On May 1, 2008, Beijing first implemented the ‘Beijing Ban on Smoking in Public Spaces’ regulations, however, China News reports that implementation of this act has not been ideal (read: completely ignored?).

In the past few years the government has designated a number of designated smoke-free zones: hospitals, schools, and authority buildings. In order to achieve this, organizations, institutions, and units to control these smoke free areas were set up throughout the city, except, judging by the smell we can’t get out of our clothes, they clearly didn't accomplish much.

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Photo: PRI

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