Beijing Stubs Out Smoking In Public Spaces

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Tough anti-smoking measures have gone into effect in the Chinese capital, where smoking is now banned in restaurants, offices and on public transport. Aljazeera has more:

Under the law rolled out on Monday, anyone in Beijing who violates the bans, which include smoking near schools and hospitals, must pay $32.25. The current fine, seldom enforced, is just $1.60.

Anyone who breaks the law three times will be named and shamed on a government website. And businesses can be fined up to $1,600 for failing to stamp out smoking on their premises. The government will also no longer allow cigarettes to be sold to shops within 100m of primary schools and kindergartens, according to state media.

China has more than 300 million smokers, and more than 1 million people die each year due to smoking-related diseases, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission. More than half of Chinese smokers buy cigarettes at less than $0.80 a pack. Previous attempts to ban smoking in Beijing, the latest in 2011, ended in failure.

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