Along with scooters, Shanghai authorities are cracking down on the other great evil that our city faces — smoking.
On March 1st, a ban was instituted against smoking in all enclosed public areas — no exceptions. That includes all non-private indoor spaces and work places, along with some outdoor spaces such as sport and art venues as well as areas near to kindergartens and bus stops.
It also means that there will no longer be any indoor smoking rooms or zones anywhere in the city.
Individuals in breach of the new law will be fined 50-200 yuan, while companies in violation will incur a fine of between 2,000-30,000 yuan.
Of course, while this may be Shanghai’s toughest smoking ban yet, in the end, it will all come down to enforcement. In the past, numerous smoking bans have been instituted in cities across China, and yet as you might have noticed their effect has been somewhat negligible.
But hey, Shanghai police sure do seem serious about keeping unlicensed scooters off the street, so maybe they are just as sincere about keeping secondhand smoke out of our lungs.
Which would be nice. The Chinese Association on Tobacco Control estimates that there are 316 million smokers in the country and 740 million are exposed to secondhand smoke with 1.5 million Chinese dying every year from tobacco-related diseases. In order to breathe more freely, some non-smokers have been forced to go to some extraordinary lengths.
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