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Experts urge ban on ads for tobacco

By Shan Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2014-03-25 09:51

Public health and legal experts are urging that a comprehensive ban on tobacco-related advertising and promotion be included in an amended law aimed at curbing smoking, particularly among youths.

Public comment on the law is currently underway online and will continue until March 24, according to the State Council's legislative affairs website.

"Compared with the current version, it has been improved, but it still lags behind the World Health Organization's standards," said Xu Guihua, deputy director of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control.

Advertising is a critically important issue because it is known to increase tobacco use, particularly among young people, Xu said, which is why the WHO has taken a hard line.

"Banning all forms of tobacco advertising is one of the most cost-effective measures governments can take to reduce demand for tobacco products," said Fabio Scano, head of disease control at the WHO's China office.

The State Council's consideration of amendments provides an important opportunity to strengthen China's tobacco-control policy, he said.

According to Jiang Yanming, a division director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the amendment expands the existing advertising limitations to new media forms, including the Internet and electronic publications.

Also, some additional places - libraries, art galleries, museums, public parks and public transportation - would be covered.

The amended law would better meet the demands of the public in accord with the practical situation in the country, he said.

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