One of the goals of the Chinese government of 2011-2015 is to ban public smoking. Just before the Chinese New Year holidays, a directive from the Ministry of Education was issued that bans smoking on school grounds according to the People’s Daily.
The circular affects all schools nationwide. The highlights are:
"nobody is ever allowed to smoke anywhere within primary and middle schools, kindergartens and secondary vocational schools."
These schools must have smoking ban signs put in conspicuous places and should not set up smoking areas. They must not seek sponsorship from cigarette brands or allow cigarette advertisements to appear on campus."
The responsibility of the new ban’s implementation will be tasked to school principals as well as the establishment of an assessment system that will require the participation of teaching staff and students as mentioned in the memo. Punishment for failure of implementation was also touch on but not specified.
Stores around schools will not be allowed to sell tobacco.
This move comes after a month after officials were banned from smoking in public areas such as hospitals, schools, on public transport and sports venues. China is the world’s largest cigarette producer and consumer with an estimated over 300 million smokers.
How effective this ban will be is yet to be seen.
Photo courtesy of Nicholas Raymond (Flickr)