There's a very strong public support in making more public places smoke-free in China, says a recent survey.
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey that covered 14 cities and more than 30,000 respondents across China, including Beijing, Hangzhou, Harbin and Tianjin.
Smoking is now prohibited in all offices, shopping malls, restaurants, bars and airports in the capital. Many outdoor public places, such as areas outside kindergartens and hospitals, are also required to be smoke-free.
"The early data is very promising. Rates of compliance are quite high rates of smoking in restaurants, for example, has decreased quite dramatically. Smokers are much more motivated to quit smoking as a result of following the introduction of the smoke-free law," said Dr Anglea Pratt, Head of the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative.
Another survey by the China City Adult Tobacco showed that the rates of exposure to second-hand smoke were lower in cities with smoke-free regulations when compared to those without the regulations.
"Places without strong laws have not done well. Second-hand smoke exposure will be lessened with laws and investment," said Dr Liang Xiaofeng, Deputy Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although there is currently no national smoke-free law in China, there was a strong support for smoking ban in public places across all the cities. China has more than 300 million smokers and more than a million people die from smoking-related illnesses every year.
"There are some places with smoking cessation clinics, but not many people visit them. Others don't even have it because there's no demand so this is complicated. The person must want to quit, and this comes from external influences, such as from the family or from the workplace," said Dr Xiaofeng.