Chinese officials banned from smoking in public as Beijing moves to curb dirty habits
China is the world's largest manufacturer and consumer of tobacco
The Chinese government has urged party officials to stop smoking in public places and help colleagues quit in a bid to curb the country's dirty habits.
It also banned government bodies from providing cigarettes or promoting smoking, warning that the use of tobacco in offices, meeting rooms, canteens and toilets is strictly prohibited.
Authorities warned party officials that buying cigarettes with public money won't be tolerated, and those who break the rules should be penalised and educated about their "evil influence".
The circular issued by the cabinet did not specify details of the punishment.
Similarly, the state council reiterated that smoking on high-speed trains is forbidden and those who do could be fined up to 2000 yuan, or £200, from January 2014.
The Chinese government added that smoking "not only endangers public health and environment, but also harms the image of the Communist party and the government", which has been marred by a series of high-profile corruption scandals in recent years.
China is the world's largest manufacturer and consumer of tobacco with more than 350 million smokers, according to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which has repeatedly criticised the "absence of political will" to curb smoking.
Tobacco has become a big part of the country's social life, where expensive cigarettes are often presented as luxury gifts among the Chinese elite.
It is also a profitable industry with state-owned tobacco companies, operating almost exclusively in China, accounting for 38 per cent of the world's production.
Beijing pledged to ban smoking in public venues back in 2008, but these rules are frequently ignored.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Germany and ECB set for fight over money-printing
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...