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China to Ban Smoking in Public By the End of the Year

Update Date: Dec 28, 2016 07:51 PM EST

It seems that public smoking will reach an end in 2017, at least in parts of China. A new law prohibiting public smoking in Beijing is now in effect.

With over 300 million smokers, more than a million Chinese die from illnesses caused by smoking each year. There have already been smoking bans established in China, but failed to diminish its citizens' habit of smoking. However, a much more tougher ban will be enforced that would include prohibiting smoking in restaurants, offices and public transport all across Beijing.

The first day of the ban highlights a popular restaurant in Beijing, where the establishment received an official warning. Inspectors discovered cigarette butts within the premises of the restaurant, with the addition of the restaurant failing to promote a smoking complaint hotline.

Smoking in China is just all too common as the country accounts for a third of the world's cigarette consumption. Within the male demographic, more than half of Chinese men smoke. However, this makes smoking seem more of a masculine trait, thus Chinese women rarely smoke.

A carton of cigarettes is also a popular gift among males, as smoking is also a part of an unofficial tradition wherein Chinese men offer cigarettes to each other as a way of greeting. The more expensive the cigarettes, the better.

While smoking has become a prevalent habit, anti-tobacco campaigners blame the situation on how Chinese smokers are unaware of the dangers of smoking, BBC reports.

Anti-tobacco campaigners also accuse the authorities of being more in favor of the tax revenues generated by the popular cigarette market and its increasing sales, thus intentionally not adequately informing the citizens of the health risks caused by smoking cigarettes. In order to set an example, the current President Xi Jinping has completely quit smoking, and has gone the extra mile of banning his officials from smoking in public, as well.  

Aside from China, a smoking ban in South Bend, Indiana will be effective by next week, according to WNDU. Starting January 2, 2017, no more smokers allowed in bars and clubs. They need to go outside if they want to smoke.

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