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China ratifies int'l treaty on tobacco control
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-29 00:37:57

    BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- China's top legislature ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control here on Sunday, making the treaty a nation-wide regulation for banning tobacco vending machines.

    The Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) approved the appeal for passing the treaty the Chinese government signed in 2003.

    The NPC Standing Committee supported the treaty by announcing that China will ban tobacco vending machines of any kind on the territorial area, including Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.

    According to the treaty, the world's first legal instrument designed to reduce tobacco-related deaths and diseases, alltobacco venders should place a clear and prominent indicator inside their points of sale about the prohibition of tobacco sales to minors, in case of doubt, request buyer to provide appropriate evidence of full legal age.

    Similar regulations were enacted in China in 1999 to prohibit tobacco sales to minors.

    Wang Dongsheng, scholar with Renmin University of China, said it is unrealistic to protect minors from smoking only by venders' self-conscience in China, noting that concrete legal enforcement and punishment are essential.

    The treaty also ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship on radio, television, print media and internet withinfive years and prohibit tobacco sponsorship of international events and activities.

    A recent random survey conducted by State Tobacco Monopoly Administration among 220,000 people in 183 cities shows that thereare more than 300 million smokers in China, 5 million among them are minors.

    According to Chinese Association on Smoking control, about 1.2 million people die of tobacco-related diseases each year in China,one fourth of the total figure of the world. China sold 1797.95 billion cigarettes in 2003, making it the world's largest cigarette market. Enditem

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