China is imposing a new smoking ban on public places including bars, restaurants and hospitals. The Los Angeles Times reports that enforcing the ban will be very difficult.
China has more than 300 million smokers—more than any other country in the world, the newspaper reports. Smoking is deeply rooted in the country’s culture and many people are not aware of the health risks. Many Chinese business transactions involve tobacco, the article says.
The smoking ban was established in response to a World Health Organization treaty signed by China in 2006 that pledged to enact tobacco-control legislation within five years. Owners of establishments that do not comply with the ban are supposed to pay a penalty of about $4,600. The article notes that it is still not certain who will enforce the ban, or what an establishment must do to be slapped with a fine.