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In case you were wondering what’s next on the government’s prohibition list, the answer is tobacco — at least in China, where officials are aggressively pushing to ban smoking in most public places by the end of 2017. If certain regulatory bodies get their way, the roughly 316 million smokers in China will no longer be allowed to light up around sports stadiums, hospitals, and tourist sites, and they’ll be barred from smoking cigarettes anywhere indoors where there are other people present.
China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission in conjunction with a senior government health official came up with the idea, which aims to eventually stamp out all tobacco use in China, one public place at a time. At the recent Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai, the commission’s publicity head, Mao Qun’an, announced the agenda with succinct clarity when he stated that “smoking harms health has become a global consensus.”
In other words, since most government bodies around the world are now in agreement that smoking cigarettes isn’t good for one’s lungs and could cause cancer, the next step is to basically prohibit people from using it by gradually eliminating not only access to tobacco through heavy taxes and excessive regulations, but also all avenues with which to use it, including in the outdoor air.
According to reports, draft legislation would make it illegal to smoke at all indoor public venues, including in public transit vehicles and even at workplaces. Outdoor areas where smoking will be prohibited include around hospitals, at primary schools and kindergartens, near tourist sites, and in close proximity to sports stadiums. Each person who violates the provisions will be subject to a $72 fine, while businesses in violation face fines as high as $4,320.