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Health watchdog urges stricter no smoking rules

2014-02-08 09:00 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

Chinese doctors have been told to inquire and record the smoking history of patients during their initial diagnosis to help smokers quit, the country's health watchdog said on Friday.

Medical workers should learn about the harms of smoking and ways of persuading smokers to give up, according to a National Health and Family Planning Commission statement.

Smoking clinics should be set up. Doctors with knowledge about giving up smoking and leading officials of medical institutions should take the lead in getting people to quit, the commission said.

In China, colleagues, friends and relatives often offer cigarettes to others as a show of hospitality, and smoking indoors is common in a country that has 300 million smokers.

There should be no tobacco advertisements and products in medical institutions, and medical officials who breach the regulation will be disqualified for selection as model employees or model institutions, the commission said.

There should be no smoking at public events, and no smoking signs should be placed in prominent areas at such events, it said.

Medical workers are also asked not to put ashtrays in their offices, while those who quit smoking will be awarded, it added.

Although a government regulation issued in 2011 bans smoking in enclosed public spaces, enforcement of the regulation has been considered very poor because it does not stipulate any penalties for offenders.

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