Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”
The World Lung Foundation (WLF) acknowledged the step forward taken by the Beijing Municipal Government to improve public health for its citizens when it introduced a smoke-free directive to strengthen existing laws. The new regulations, which entered into effect this month, augment the existing smoke free law by banning smoking in several public places, including offices, hospitals, primary and secondary schools, &nnbsp;cinemas, concert halls and museums and libraries among others.
“This directive shows much-needed progress in China's efforts to save lives from the life threatening dangers of second hand smoke, said Judith Mackay, Director of Global Tobacco Control Programs, World Lung Foundation. “This new law combined with public education to raise citizens' awareness of the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke is an important foundation for future efforts. We hope the Beijing government will rapidly expand its commitment by announcing more smoke-free areas in public places and the workplace and by eliminating partitioned smoking areas as they have proven to be ineffective in reducing the danger of second hand smoke.”
Beijing joins other world capitals, including Bangkok, Paris, London and Mexico City in passing smoke-free measures. Increasingly, governments in large cities are leading tobacco control in their countries by passing strong laws ahead of their state and federal counterparts.
More than 60 percent of men in China smoke, according to MPOWER,the Global Tobacco Control Report, published by the World Health Organization. Although China has one of the world's largest health burdens from tobacco usage, smoke-free public places are an important step in reducing the harm caused by tobacco products