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Shanghai's smoking ban proves effective

FEWER people were found smoking in public venues since the city imposed a smoking ban in public venues a year ago, local authorities said today.

According to the white paper on Shanghai's anti-smoking campaign, only 16.8 percent of non-smoking areas were found with people smoking, a significant drop from 37.5 percent before the ban.

And smokers were persuaded to stub out their cigarettes in about half of the non-smoking areas, compared with only 19 percent before.

Shanghai's smoking ban is applied to 12 kinds of public places, including schools, hospitals, supermarkets, elevators and karaoke bars. Individual offenders may face a fine from 50 yuan (US$7.60) to 200 yuan under the law.

During the past 12 months, 12 public venues and five individuals were punished for breaking the smoking ban. They were fined 25,400 yuan in total. The five offenders, including a doctor, were caught in Internet cafes and hospitals.

The anti-smoking campaign scored the biggest success at the World Expo site where no smoker was spotted in its 200-plus pavilions. Over 90 percent of Expo visitors expressed satisfaction with the smoking ban, said the white paper.


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