China / Society

Beijing stubs out smoking with fines

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-16 18:44

BEIJING - Two weeks after Beijing adopted its strictest smoking ban in history, some people are still trying to flout the rules, according to the Beijing Health Inspection Agency on Tuesday.

One hotel in Chaoyang District was fined 2,000 yuan (327 US dollars) for failing to install "no smoking" signs.

A company in Haidian District was fined 2,000 yuan after an ashtray and cigarette butts were found in the general manager's office.

A beauty salon in Daxing District was fined 2,000 yuan for failing to display "no smoking" signs and allowing its customers to smoke.

"We had given them all a warning, but they failed to heed our advice," said Li Yajing, head of the agency.

Five individuals were also fined 50 yuan each for smoking in public places.

The public health service hotline received 1,743 smoking complaints in the first two weeks of June. Most callers blamed the building's management or owners for letting people smoke.

The smoking ban, which has been effective since June 1, prohibits smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces, and on public transport in Beijing. Some 1,000 inspectors have been tasked with enforcing the ban.

Individuals caught smoking in public places may be fined up to 200 yuan, while businesses will have to pay up to 10,000 yuan if they fail to discourage smoking on their premises.

As the world's largest tobacco maker and consumer, China has more than 300 million smokers, almost on par with the population of the U.S. Another 740 million people are exposed to second-hand smoke each year.

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