China prohibits officials from public smoking

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Officials in China have been instructed not to smoke in public places in a rare, high-profile anti-smoking signal from authorities in the world’s biggest tobacco market.

According to a circular from the party’s central committee and the State Council, government officials and cadres at all levels must not smoke in public venues including schools, hospitals, sports and cultural centres and public transportation vehicles and vessels.

China’s health authorities already banned people from lighting up in indoor public places in 2011, although the rule is not seriously enforced or obeyed in a country that has more than 300 million smokers.