Sweeping changes taking place in China
Great news ahead of the Olympic Games, a ban on smoking in most public buildings has come into force in the Chinese capital, Beijing. It is a fantastic move in an attempt to discourage some of China’s 350 million smokers, and also part of wider efforts to clean up the city in the run up to the Olympics. Amazingly, for every three cigarettes lit worldwide, one is smoked in China.
The big dragon is developing in more ways than one. While trade and entrepreneurship is rising in China, smoking is also contributing to another rapid rise – of cancer and heart disease in the world’s most populous country. An enforcement team of 100,000 existing employees will be making sure the new ban is adhered to. Restaurants and bars must also provide non-smoking areas or rooms, and rightly so.
“If measures are not taken, with so many smokers in China, in 10, 20, 30 years, the health system will have even higher burden to manage patients with cardio-vascular diseases, with cancer and so on,” says Dr Hans Troedsson, the China representative for the World Health Organization.
Well done indeed, China wants to promote Beijing as a progressive, modern and clean city. While there is still a general lack of awareness about the impact on health smoking can have, China is leaping forward in ensuring the middle country has a prosperous and glorious future. Go go go Beijing!