Smoking rate falls as ban takes effect
The smoking rate in all places in Shanghai dropped from 25.1 to 16.3 percent, a year after the city imposed a sweeping ban on indoor smoking, according to a recent report.
Using data from Shanghai Health Promotion Commission, the report also revealed that the percentage of smokers who were persuaded from not smoking in all indoor public places rose to 46.6 percent from 40 before the smoking ban took effect in March last year.
Also, 95.5 percent of workers in indoor places and 89.7 percent of visitors to these places said they were aware of the city’s rules to curb smoking in indoor public places, up 7.9 and 12 percent, respectively, from 2016.
Shanghai introduced a limited ban on public smoking in 2010, but the regulation covered only certain places such as schools and libraries. The rules that came into force last March banned smoking in all indoor public places and public transport vehicles.
The rules stipulate that offenders can be fined up to 200 yuan (US$30) and up to 20,000 yuan on owners of places for failing to enforce the ban.
The commission said that since March last year it has been focusing on the most popular businesses and shopping centers during its periodic inspection to ensure the new smoking ban is implemented.
Around the city, the commission inspected 240,000 places and fined 1,133 of them a total of 2.59 million yuan, while 415 individuals were fined 31,600 yuan.
The amount of fine was almost equivalent to that given from 2010 to 2016, according to the commission.
People are encouraged to call 12345 to report offenses and offenders.
For its effort, Shanghai government won the World No Tobacco Day 2017 Award in November given by the World Health Organization.
However, some residents told Shanghai Daily that they have spotted people smoking where they were not supposed to.
Alicia Zhang, who works in an office building in the Pudong New Area, said “many people” smoke within the building, especially in toilets and pantries, and she has reported the problem to 12345.
Eileen Shen, who lives in a residential complex in Yangpu District, said people smoke in public spaces in her building and ignore her when she tries to stop them.