Sunday, May 01, 2011

Media nonsense about China's smoking ban

Smoking is prohibited on some streets in Japan...Smoking ban in some Japanese streets via Wikipedia
The general observation that Chinese are not very law-abiding when they can get away with ignoring regulation is true. So, the observation - for me, mostly in Shanghai - that earlier smoking bans were effectively upheld, seems rather relevant even when it does complicates the way journalists prefer to frame this story.

Until a few years ago, people smoked everywhere. In schools, universities, buses, trains, shops: for secundary smokers avoiding tabacco was impossible. A first anti-smoking regulation, banning tabacco from schools, universities, department stores and public offices was met with doubt. But after a few months it actually worked. Teachers and mostly male shopping staff got together on stairs and alleys to have their smoke, but they were no longer smoking in front of their customers and students. Even at home, smoking men were often banned to balconies or parks by their wifes.

That succesful smoking ban was a relief for secundary smokers like my. I do not think it actually reduced the smoking habits, it only isolated the smokers from the non-smokers. The new extention of the smoking ban is a way to isolate them further. Since I do not think bans will actually stop smokers from having their fix, the question is whether they have enough places to get together and smoke.

For the time being, I'm pretty hopeful the smoking ban will work. For actually stopping the smokers, other measures might be needed.
(Earlier published at Fons Tuinstra's home.)
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment