Most locals want restrictions on outdoor smoking

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai residents are urging authorities to enforce strict regulations on outdoor smoking by implementing legislation and creating designated outdoor smoking zones.
Cai Wenjun

Residents in Shanghai voiced concern about people smoking on the streets and urged the authorities to tighten management through legislation and the establishment of authorized outdoor smoking areas.

Outdoor queuing areas, pedestrian roads, traffic light waiting areas, bus stations, and exits and entrances to shopping malls and business buildings are the most common places where people are exposed to such smoke, according to a survey conducted by the Shanghai Health Promotion Center ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Over 10,000 citizens were interviewed for the survey.

Almost 30 percent of people claimed they had experienced such smoke while sending or picking up children in front of schools.

More than 90 percent voiced displeasure, and the majority believe that such behavior raises safety concerns and has an impact on the environment and public health.

People smoking while walking, driving a moped or bike, and passing crowds are all irritating behaviors that significantly reduce people's outing experiences and life quality, the report claimed.

Shanghai is committed to enhancing smoking-control initiatives.

In March 2010, Shanghai was the first city in the country to pass legislation prohibiting indoor smoking. In 2016, they updated the law to enforce a complete ban. Since late 2022, Shanghai has forbidden the use of e-cigarettes in public indoor spaces.

Because of legislation, strict law enforcement, and public education on the dangers of smoking, the city's smoking rate has reduced by 7.5 percentage points since 2010, to 19.4 percent, and the rate of smoking in places where it is prohibited has dropped from 37.5 percent to the current 12.4 percent.

The prevalence of passive smoking indoors has decreased while suffering in outdoor settings has increased. Second-hand smoke exposure remains at 41.6 percent.

According to the center, the authority conducted the survey to guide follow-up management and actions to improve local anti-smoking efforts, collect citizens' feedback on outdoor smoking, and advocate for increased awareness.

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