H/T Walt from a few days back for this article on China:
More than 300 million Chinese smoke, and hundreds of millions of others are exposed to secondhand smoke. A powerful domestic tobacco industry, much of it state owned, brings in trillions of renminbi in sales and tax revenue annually for the government. Cigarette prices have remained low, despite calls by the World Health Organization for the government to raise taxes on tobacco products to discourage smoking.
Reflecting smoking’s popularity in China — in public places such as hotels, restaurants, train stations, schools and hospitals — ashtrays are often found next to no-smoking signs. Finding a smoke-free restaurant, even in major cities such as Beijing or Chengdu, is difficult.
Opponents of smoking have long called for stricter controls. In 2005, China ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, but it failed to carry out many of the measures by a 2011 deadline. A World Health Organization report last year put China behind many developing countries in terms of tobacco control, including Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam.
The proposed regulations, presented this week for public consultation, suggest what tighter controls might look like.
In addition to the ban on smoking indoors in public places, such as offices and schools, smoking would be banned in outdoor areas where people gather, such as bus stops and sports venues. The proposed regulations would require outdoor spaces such as parks to provide separate smoking areas. Managers of these sites would have the right to call the police to deal with people who do not follow the rules and “cause trouble,” according to the draft regulations.
Restrictions on tobacco advertising would be more strictly enforced, meaning schools that now feature pro-tobacco slogans would have to remove them. Half the surface area of cigarette packages would be required to provide information on the dangers of smoking.
The proposed regulations include strict controls on selling tobacco to minors. Those who cannot show identification proving their age would not be allowed to buy tobacco.
The proposals, announced on the website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, have already attracted thousands of comments on Chinese websites, many positive. The antismoking lobby has voiced its support as well. And according to a report in The Beijing News, 90 percent of Beijing residents favor a total ban on smoking in indoor public spaces.
But if the proposals become law, they will challenge all kinds of entrenched behaviors.
Long may they continue to drag their feet.
I thought that winter had already come, and it was the basis for my prediction that the Russian smoking ban wouldn’t last past October. But, writing last week, Sokolov seems to think it hasn’t come yet. And he should know. It’s all right, he says, for Western Europeans who can step outside for a smoke in temperatures 5 or 10 degrees below zero (Celsius, I suppose), but in Russia the temperatures can fall to 30 or 40 below zero, and there’s a threat of contracting pneumonia.
It seems that, in these circumstances, there are suggestions that the law may be relaxed to allow “special restaurants for smokers” and smoking allowed on long-distance trains. However, this will only happen next year, if ever, after evidence has been gathered this winter.
Sokolov seems to foresee the possibility of “popular mass sabotage”.
It could all get very interesting in Russia in a month or two.
Winter is coming – the first in which the Federal Law № 15 “On protection of public health from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and consequences of tobacco consumption” will be in full force – namely, to be rebuked any smoking in enclosed public spaces, including the railroad wagons.
It has been noted that in its rigor Law number 15 is much higher than European counterparts – in the case of tobacco known Russian zakononeposlushanie decided to press with unprecedented cruelly. But anti-tobacco cruelly there is another point, which is absent in Western Europe. Even in the European part of Russia, where the winter cold milder frosts and 20, and 30 degrees are common, and in Siberia, where the climate is more continental, cold and are under 40. All of this in Western Europe simply does not have, as a result In particular, many Russian realities Europeans simply do not understand. For example “preparation for the heating season.” Romans about this event did not even hear because I have never seen a frozen home with torn from the cold pipes.
European mainly snowless winter and above-zero, why go out for a smoke on the porch (which is on the porch, and not 15 meters from the building) for 5 or even 10 degrees is a very mild discomfort and certainly not threatening pneumonia. In Russia, all a little different. Even without going into the question of how to represent themselves the authors of Law number 15 implementation of the law in the winter or Yakutsk Norilsk pointeresuemsya even as they envision it in the regional centers of Siberia. Equal and should look like a smoke railroad passenger on the platform Burannyi little station.
View the most hard-nosed zapretiteley clear: “I would like perehochetsya, pereterpit.” From lack of nicotine no one has died, and if someone gets sick with pneumonia – so free as he was flushed and warmed enough to run out into the cold. In social networks, where there is more freedom, more and add that even if all the smokers from pneumonia suffocated – the spring air cleaner will be.
People looking at things realistically, will assume that the result of the winter campaign will be fifty-fifty. Partially authorities will turn a blind eye to the obvious violations of the Federal Law № 15 – at -40 this understanding is widespread, partly people themselves will avoid (where possible) visits any low places in the frosty time. Innkeeper and now hard times, in the cold, they finally zahireyut.
There is, however, a third option. The head of the Duma Committee on Health SV Kalashnikov proposes to allow the opening of special restaurants for smokers (the very decision when the wolves are fed and the sheep are safe), and the head of “Russian Railways” VI Yakunin would like to once again allow smoking in long-distance trains. Words councilors Kalashnikov has chased a winning formula at all mind over Brahmaputra: “If people are going to smoke the same interests together, probably no objective reason to deny them that. Such an initiative is, and I personally support it. The main thing is not to interfere with those who do not smoke. ” Yakunin, emphasizing that he gave up smoking and other causes, however, sees its role not so much to make the railway a hotbed of higher morality, but in the fact that the railroad room service instead of catching smokers, as well as offer them money to take advantage of the coupe conductors and smoke there, more would be occupied by their direct duties.
All this would be good, when the role of the mind in worldly affairs in general and in particular in the Duma was any significant. In practice, as we know, is not the case. Reformed traditional logic is reduced to a powerful blow with his fist on the table and cried, “We get destroyed this thing! And the beds are not ladies and sinks! “, And the reasons are simple common sense powerless against the chief reformer. Ideally, though deeply unreasonable overbearing impulses are treated only popular mass sabotage, which resulted in the ideal intentions lead God knows what, and then the most common (and therefore, idiotic) establishing quietly canceled.
However, in the statements of the Kalashnikov is one mystery. He promises that the law, are allowed to smoke in drinking establishments, will be considered only in the autumn of 2015, without explaining the reasons for a year delay. If chiefs hope that winter 2014/15 year will not be, it is still unlikely – and overbearing stupidity has its limits. Perhaps bosses need a particularly devastating arguments – in a large number of cases of pneumonia, as well as in a large number of the closed institutions, who bore no lack of customers. This can, of course, and now predict – but they only accept evidence post factum.
Finally, and perhaps SV Kalashnikov is dedicated to the mysteries of high politics and faithful people assured him that by the autumn of 2015 a large face, punching Law number 15 contrary to reason, in spite of the elements and not heeding any sound arguments, for some reason cease to do so.
Wait and see. Winter Is Coming.