Global Tobacco Control Updates
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The government of Shanghai today announced a historic new regulation that will require smoke-free public spaces in one of the world’s largest cities. Shanghai’s bold action will reduce smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in a city of more than 20 million people – and in a country home to some of the highest smoking rates in the world.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds the courageous leadership of the officials in Shanghai who have taken such a historic action to protect the lives of millions of people. Shanghai’s decision will be felt around the world – as a shining example of what cities of any size can do to address the world’s leading cause of preventable death.
Shanghai’s new law requires 100 percent smoke-free restaurants, bars, workplaces and public transportation. When the law comes into effect in March of next year it will transform the city of Shanghai and protect millions of people from the deadly harms of secondhand smoke. The impact of the government’s bold action cannot be overstated – this law will save countless lives and bring a positive, healthy change to anyone who lives in or visits this world famous city. With strong enforcement, smoke-free spaces in Shanghai can help change the course of tobacco use in China.
Secondhand smoke is a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 that cause cancer. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
With approximately 316 million smokers, China is home to the largest number of smokers in the world. Seven in 10 nonsmokers are routinely exposed to secondhand smoke and about 1.5 million Chinese die from tobacco-related disease each year. Another 100,000 Chinese die from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Smoke-free policies like Shanghai’s new law immediately improve public health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, reducing cigarette consumption and helping smokers quit. These laws remain an easy and effective solution for cities large and small to combat the devastating toll of tobacco use.