The Chinese government has announced a ban on smoking, cigarette advertising, and tobacco sales in the nation’s public schools, all of which were totally legal until yesterday.
A circular issued by the ministry of education declares that “nobody is ever allowed to smoke anywhere within primary and middle schools, kindergartens and secondary vocational schools,” and also states that, “stores in school [sic] are also prohibited from selling tobacco, with schools’ principals to be held responsible for the ban’s implementation.”
The government has a pretty dismal record of actually enforcing its many smoking bans, but a law confined to public schools may be easier to enforce than, say, the constantly-ignored “public smoking ban.”
If nothing else, this new law has reveals the astonishing omnipresence of tobacco products, advertising, and sales in public schools. Reuters has covered the law, and said that, “schools can no longer seek sponsorship from cigarette brands or post tobacco advertisements on campus.” Wow. Furthermore, “school canteens must also stop selling tobacco.” Jesus.
China’s schools, which had apparently been operating as youthful smoking clubs, will hopefully only have deadly PM2.5 and smog to rot their student’s lungs, with none of that evil tobacco.