SZ aims to make all its Party and govt. offices smoke-free

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Holly Wang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-07-21

Shenzhen is aiming to make its Party and government institutions at all levels smoke-free by the end of 2022, with those at the municipal and district levels to achieve the goal by the end of this year, according to a meeting held by the city’s tobacco control office yesterday.

The goal is specified in the Healthy China Action Plan (2019-2030), which also targets that China’s comprehensive smoke-free law will cover 30 percent of its population by 2022 and 80 percent by 2030.

The targeted smoke-free Party and government institutions include all kinds of Party and government offices at all levels, such as organizations of the Party, people’s congress and political advisory body, judicial organs, procuratorial organs, as well as trade unions, the Communist Youth League and women’s federations.

In order to become smoke-free environments, these institutions are required to formulate related regulations, impose a total ban on indoor smoking, standardize existing outdoor smoking areas, and prohibit the sale of tobacco products and tobacco advertising and sponsorships in the premises of the institutions.

The qualification rate of no smoking signs posted in the city’s government agencies perennially increased and reached 84.4 percent last year, according to a study conducted by the Shenzhen Center for Chronic Disease Control.

The rate of illegal smoking in the city’s government agencies stood at 17.7 percent in 2020, slightly lower than the city’s average level, which was 18.7 percent.

A public questionnaire survey conducted last year also showed that Shenzhen’s government departments ranked third for their good performance in tobacco control, following medical institutions and schools.

According to the city’s health commission, there are a total of 1,380 Party and government institutions in Shenzhen that will turn into smoke-free environments.

Shenzhen adopted a smoking ban in 2013, the first comprehensive such law passed in China. Dubbed the strictest smoking ban in history, it took effect in March 1, 2014.

With more than 300 million smokers, China has by far the largest number of smokers worldwide. Every year, 1 million people die of tobacco-related diseases, according to the Ministry of Health.