Opinion / Blog

Non-smokers, don't have to suffer in silence

By pnp ( Updated: 2015-06-05 16:09

Beijing has rolled out measures to combat smoking in public. The measures provide for hefty fines on establishments which do not enforce the smoking ban in their premises, and for smokers the fine will range from 50 yuan to200. A hotline is also provided for members of the public to lodge complaints against offenders. From now on, non-smokers don't have to suffer in silence, now that the law is on their side.  But there is a proviso to this. The measures will only work if all non-smokers play an active part.  They must be prepared to speak up and assert their right, either by telling the smokers off directly, or through the staff of the establishments. And if they don't comply, non-smokers must be prepared to call the hotline.  This is where the catch is. Chinese people have a weird attitude towards anti-social behavior; they don't care to point out to offenders any misdeed that happens right under their nose, preferring to ignore them and suffer in silence. They even have a saying, which their mamas teach them from young, 'buyao guan xian shi', ie 'don't mind other peoples' affairs'.

The big problem with this attitude is that they don't differentiate between peoples' private affairs and society's problems. It is perfectly right of them not to interfere in a domestic quarrel between husband and wife, but to lump anti-social misdeeds as 'xian shi' which they don't care about is a huge mistake.  Not only that, it is immensely irresponsible. Every member of society has the civic duty to help maintain the law, in this case the smoking ban. Unfortunately, the Chinese fail to understand this basic point. They have been conditioned by their mothers from young to 'buyao guan xian shi'!  And that is why so many anti-social acts go unreported and the culprits get away scot-free.

It is to be hoped that the Chinese would change their mindset and play an active part in helping to stop irresponsible smokers pollute the air we all breathe.

The original blog is at:

Most Viewed Today's Top News