China's 300 million smokers together get through a third of the world's cigarettes, and they start them young here! A million Chinese a year die from smoking-related illnesses, and that is due to double within ten years. The constant smoking is something I really hate about life in China. The UK's smoking ban was such a pleasant discovery during my return there last year. But China has now followed suit with a ban on smoking in indoor public spaces, places of business, and public transportation from the beginning of January, 2011.
How much of a difference that will make is yet to be seen. Smoking has been banned in hospitals for some years now, but it doesn't stop the odd patient, or even doctor, from lighting up. I was at the dentists yesterday and had to do my "glaring and pointing at the No Smoking sign" to shame one miscreant into stubbing his fag out!! For the 60% of Chinese men who smoke 15+ ciggies a day, it will certainly be a hard habit to kick, especially here in Yunnan Province where most of the tobacco is grown (and most of the taxes are gathered).
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