Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ode to Smoke-free Joy

Yesterday marked the first of a hundred days before the Olympics festivities begin, but today BBC World News reported something even more joyous. China will ban smoking in Beijing in most public buildings. The government authorities say that they want to present China as a healthy, modern and clean city, but ironically the ban still allows smoking in restaurants and bars. Oh well – at least non-smoking areas are mandatory in cafés now. Although a sunless gray white sky will depress me, at least I won’t have to worry about environmental tobacco smoke clogging my lungs and arteries.

“For every three cigarettes lit worldwide, one is smoked in China.”

Although the ban gives me reason to anticipate China even more, something tells me that people will still smoke in public areas, paying off the enforcers 1 yuan at a time or something. 毕竟,关系扮演重要的角色。Let’s hope that 100,000 enforcement members are enough to lower ambient nicotine levels in Beijing. I also hope that Beijing will maintain this ban after the Olympics, but I doubt that the Chinese tobacco industry will stay quiet…

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