China / Society

Three workplaces, 5 smokers fined for smoking breaches

By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-16 07:42

Three workplaces and five individuals in Beijing have been fined in the first two weeks of a new tobacco control regulation being introduced in the city.

The fines were announced on Monday by health authorities.

They were imposed because the owners and individuals concerned refused to rectify problems to comply with the regulation, said Sun Rui, a publicity official at the Beijing Health Inspection Bureau.

A statement released by the bureau on Monday said health authorities will focus this week on reinspecting places where tobacco problems were found in the past two weeks. Those found to have failed to correct problems will be punished.

Zhang Jianshu, president of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association, said health inspectors issued more than 1,000 rectification notices to public places in the past two weeks.

"Health authorities will conduct large-scale reinspections of these places ... and those that refuse to rectify will be punished," he said.

The three venues punished included a hotel in Chaoyang district that had not corrected faults when health inspectors visited it again on Wednesday.

A week previously, inspectors issued the hotel a rectification notice for violating the regulation, including failing to display prominent no-smoking signs and the hotline number to report violations.

The inspectors fined the hotel 2,000 yuan ($322) on Wednesday. A beauty parlor in Daxing district was also fined 2,000 yuan for similar offenses last week, along with a company in Haidian district, the bureau said.

Each of the individuals was fined 50 yuan for smoking in nonsmoking areas.

Beijing introduced China's toughest-ever tobacco control regulation on June 1, banning smoking at all indoor public areas and workplaces and a number of outdoor areas.

Violators face fines of up to 200 yuan ($32), a twentyfold increase from the penalty under the previous regulation adopted in 1996. Owners of buildings classified as public places, such as restaurants, that fail to stop smokers lighting up face fines of up to 10,000 yuan.

The public has also been encouraged to report violations by dialing a health hotline at 12320 or via social media.

Between June 1 and Sunday, the hotline in Beijing received 4,605 calls about tobacco control, including 1,743 reporting violations of the regulation, the Beijing Commission of Health and Family Planning said on Monday.

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