Shenzhen will officially ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places and expand the scope of nonsmoking areas, according to the city’s revised tobacco-control regulations, which were passed by the city’s legislature Wednesday and will take effect Oct. 1 this year.
According to the new regulations, smoking is prohibited within five meters outside the entrances and exits of public transport stations, outdoor platforms and waiting areas for public transport, as well as ticket-purchasing areas and waiting areas outside the entrances and exits of relevant outdoor venues.
The revised provisions also expand the scope of places where the sale of tobacco products is prohibited. It is stipulated that no tobacco products shall be sold within a radius of 50 meters of primary and secondary schools and other children’s facilities.
It is specified that the city’s tobacco monopoly administration will be a member of the municipal tobacco-control leading group.
According to the revised regulations, using e-cigarettes and holding it lit or heated is considered smoking although no tobacco products are burned.
The current tobacco-control regulations regard “not listening to the dissuasion of venue operators” as a prerequisite to issuing a fine on illegal smokers. The revisions state that law enforcement officers can directly impose fines on illegal smokers in nonsmoking areas.
According to the new regulations, a fine of 2,000 yuan (US$290) will be directly issued without warning to tobacco sellers who fail to set up signs that caution smoking’s harm to health or sell tobacco products to minors. Violators will be fined 10,000 yuan if caught not making corrections within a limited time period.
Considering that the ability and responsibility of venue operators to perform tobacco-control duties are not fully compatible, the new regulations stipulate that operators of public venues will receive a warning if found violating the rules for the first time and be given a penalty between 5,000 and 30,000 yuan for a second violation within 24 months.