China Debates National And Local Laws To Reduce Smoking

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Fourteen Chinese cities have bans on all indoor smoking in public places, and the country's capital, Beijing just passed measures to strengthen its indoor smoking ban with higher fines.

Beijing's move comes as national bodies, the Chinese cabinet and the country's Parliament are considering making the indoor smoking ban national, along with a comprehensive ban on tobacco ads and cutting smoking scenes from films and TV.

China has more than 300 million smokers, more than any other country in the world, and another several hundred million who are exposed to second-hand smoke.

The World Health Organization says that more than a million Chinese die every year because of smoking, and the group estimates that heath problems from tobacco use have cost the country nearly $500 billion over the last decade.

China makes almost half the world's cigarettes, with the industry almost entirely dominated by state-owned China National Tobacco Company, which generates about $150 billion in profits and taxes for the Chinese government.

Andrew Martin, a reporter for Bloomberg News, talks to Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson about what these policies could mean for China and their economy.


This segment aired on December 22, 2014.


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