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Recruitment of tobacco control volunteers begins

Source:China Daily

Wang Xiaodong

Updated: 2015-07-04

The recruitment of volunteers to help carry out Beijing's tough tobacco control regulations started on Friday.

The volunteers will assist health inspectors in tobacco control education, promotion and supervision. They will also provide counseling to smokers who wish to quit. The number of volunteers could reach 100,000 by the end of the year.

A major obstacle to effective implementation of the regulations is the relatively weak enforcement forces that are available to police a large number of businesses and more than 4 million smokers in Beijing, said Gao Xiaojun, spokesman for the Beijing Commission of Health and Family Planning.

Volunteers should be between 15 and 70 years old. Those counseling smokers who want to quit should be over 20 years old and have an educational background in subjects such as medicine and psychology. All volunteers must be nonsmokers.

Applicants can register online or through the WeChat messaging app before the end of July, the commission said.

"We expect to recruit more than 1,000 volunteers in the first month, and the number of volunteers may reach 100,000 by the end of the year after all inspectors in various government departments join," said Zhang Jianshu, president of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association.

By the end of June, commission inspectors visited 8,877 places in Beijing and issued orders to rectify to 2,047 for failing to follow the regulations.

The commission fined 40 establishments for refusing to comply, and 90 individuals were also fined for violating the rules.

The regulation, which took effect on June 1, bans smoking in all indoor public places and many outdoor public places.

Fines reach to 10,000 yuan ($1,610) for businesses.


(China Daily USA 07/04/2015 page5)


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