BEIJING—China is considering a ban on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places as the world’s largest nation of smokers faces a mounting and costly toll from treating chronic diseases.
Measures under consideration include a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, according to draft legislation published Monday on the website of the State Council, China’s cabinet.
The draft includes bans on smoking in indoor, public places as well as the outdoor areas of locations ranging from hospitals to schools to fitness venues. It also includes plans to cut smoking scenes in film and TV and prohibit vending machine sales of cigarettes.
China’s leaders are attempting to stub out smoking in the world’s largest tobacco market by sales, as tobacco use is contributing to rising incidences of chronic conditions such as heart disease and lung cancer in the country. China is home to more than 300 million smokers.
The World Health Organization estimates that smoking kills more than one million Chinese each year. Death and health complications related to no communicable disease will have cost China $500 billion in the decade ending in 2015, the WHO says.
The new regulations would impact China’s state-owned China National Tobacco Corp., which holds a monopoly on tobacco in China. Its cigarette makers account for 43% of the world’s cigarette production, according to the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation.
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