Under the new regulation, neither taxi drivers nor passengers will be allowed to smoke at any time during a taxi ride.
All Beijing taxis will now bear anti-smoking signs, and violations can be made via a phone hotline at 12320, or to the city’s traffic enforcement agency.
Taxis are just the latest Beijing mode of transportation that prohibits smoking, following the example led by Beijing’s subways, buses, and its Capital Airport.
After implementing a city-wide indoor smoking ban in 2015, Beijing began to see some progress in its campaign to stop smoking. After some 700 venues were cited in the first week alone as well as raising taxes on cigarettes, there are now 200,000 fewer cigarette smokers in Beijing.
After having become well-accepted by its local restaurants and bars, banning smoking in taxis appears to be the next logical step in completely banning cigarette use throughout Beijing. While previous 2011 anti-smoking legislation was criticized for being ineffectual, this latest news along with greater public acceptance shows that a proposed nation-wide smoking ban may not be as far-fetched as first imagined as other Chinese cities like Shanghai adopt indoor smoking bans of their own.
China has some 316 million smokers, of which 733,000 Chinese were diagnosed with smoking-related illnesses, including lung cancer, in 2015.
Photo: China Daily