BEIJING, May 11 -- Health authorities Monday announced a plan to ban smoking in all public venues and work sites starting next year.
According to the health ministry, smoking will be against the law in all indoor public venues and workplaces, as well as in trains, buses and other modes of transportation. Some outdoor sites will also be subjected to the ban expected to be in place in January.
"We've set the goal in accordance with the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control," Yang Qing, a senior official of the ministry, said at a press conference Monday.
China participated in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2006 where it promised a full imple-mentation by 2011.
Although many cities have a smoking ban, they're not properly enforced.
Starting this month, a smoking ban was announced at all health facilities in accordance with an initiative launched in 2009 by several authorities including the ministry and the Armed Police Force.
The initiative requires all government health agencies and at least 50 percent of all medical facilities to become smoke-free this year. And all government agencies and facilities involving health will be smoke-free in 2011.
"All government health agencies should meet the requirements by September this year," Yang said.
No smoking is permitted in health offices of government buildings. Those who stop smoking or succeed in quitting could receive a 500-yuan ($73) award.
Those who violate the ban will be punished.