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City to enforce total smoking ban in public places

Shanghai plans to expand its smoking ban to cover all indoor public venues and office buildings and raise fines for violators of the city's smoke-control law that went into effect in 2009, officials said today.

The current law still permits smoking in some indoor areas, making it difficult for law enforcement officers to perform their duty, Li Zhongyang from the Shanghai Health Enhancement Commission told the legislators.

"Some 90 percent of local residents support the government to impose a tougher smoking ban in the city, according to an online survey made by the commission," Li said.

Local law enforcement units also asked to ban smoking in all indoor areas across the city, he added.

The current law has different smoking control standards for venues of different sizes.

This year 179 public venues and 77 individuals have been fined some 313,000 yuan (US$50,237) in total, Li said.

Officials said Internet cafes, entertainment venues and restaurants are still places polluted by cigarette smoking.


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