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Friday, 29 April 2011

China Set to Impose Smoking Ban in Public Places

China's health ministry to introduce smoking ban in public places with new regulations due to come into force on 1 May. The nationwide prohibition is designed to bring China -- which has more than 300 million smokers  roughly equal to the entire population of the United States -- more in line with health regulations in developed countries.But it faces a tough test. Tobacco use  is deeply ingrained in China, where offering a cigarette is a common greeting ritual. Lighting up in elevators or even hospital waiting rooms is routine and second-hand smoke is considered a serious health threat. "I don't think this ban on smoking  will have a big effect," Yang Lei, a 32-year-old Beijinger who has been smoking for four years, told AFP. "In China, when you are in a restaurant,people smoke even if there is a 'No Smoking' sign. When you eat with friends, few people ask others if it's OK to smoke and restaurant managers rarely stop clients who smoke."

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