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Bloomberg Philanthropies: China Smoke-Free Policy a Major Development for Public Health

April 06, 2011

The following statement was issued by Bloomberg Philanthropies:

Bloomberg Philanthropies Applauds China's Next Steps Against Tobacco

Bloomberg Philanthropies' Dr. Kelly Henning today hailed actions taken by the Chinese Ministry of Health to protect Chinese citizens from the harms of second-hand tobacco smoke. The Ministry recently issued a ban on smoking in 28 types of public venues, including hotels, restaurants, theaters, shopping centers, and bars. The new guidelines require owners of public places to post no smoking signs and to retain staff to tell smokers to stop smoking. The policy also prohibits the placement of outdoor smoking areas in walkways frequented by pedestrians and the placement of cigarette vending machines in public places. Fines for owners of public places who violate the guidelines range from 1,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan. The ban, which goes into effect on May 1, 2011, represents a major step forward in China's implementation of the requirements of the World Health Organization's global treaty on tobacco control and the set of six'MPOWER' policy measures proven to reduce tobacco use.

'This is a major development for public health in China and for the global anti-tobacco movement,' said Dr. Kelly Henning, who oversees public health initiatives, including tobacco control efforts, for Bloomberg Philanthropies. 'Almost 1 million smokers die each year in China from tobacco-related diseases and another 100,000 die from exposure to second-hand smoke. China is proving that it intends to protect and improve the health of all of its citizens through these important new measures.'
In China, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports partnerships with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, and other organizations. These partners work to support the World Health

Organization's 'MPOWER' policy measures. These include monitoring, protections from second-hand smoke, offering cessation assistance, warnings about the dangers of tobacco, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, and raising the price of tobacco through taxation. Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $375 million over six years to reversing the global tobacco epidemic through a focus on low- and middle-income countries around the world.

According to the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted in China, 28% of adult Chinese, or 300 million people, smoke. Also according to GATS, seven out of ten nonsmoking Chinese adults were exposed to second-hand smoke in a typical week.

Contact: Katie Appel, (212) 205-0344,