BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's film and broadcast watchdog has issued a circular ordering to reduce smoking scenes in films and TV dramas following complaints last month about the nation's failure to honor the tobacco-control commitment of the World Health Organization(WHO).
"Frequent smoking scenes in films and TV dramas do not accord with China's stance on tobacco control and will mislead the public, especially the young," read the circular posted on the website of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).
Tobacco brands or signs and smoking scenes with juveniles present should not be allowed to appear in films or TV dramas, it said.
Scenes which have to show smoking should "last as short as possible," said the circular.
The circular also urged censoring and broadcasting institutions to intensify supervision of films and TV dramas before their screening and "try their best to cut smoking scenes."
A survey conducted among 11,000 middle school students by Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, showed 32.87 percent of the students wanted to try smoking after seeing actors smoke on TV.
China ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2003, pledging measures to effectively curb tobacco use, including a total ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
The treaty took effect in China on Jan. 9, 2006.
A report, "Tobacco Control and China's Future," compiled by a group of prominent Chinese and foreign experts said last month that the government had failed to honor its commitment as there had been little progress on tobacco control over the past five years and the country was far from meeting the FCTC requirements.