Litigation launched in China

| August 17, 2017

A woman in China has brought a lawsuit against the Harbin Railway Bureau that aims to have smoking on regular trains and station platforms banned, according to a GBTIMES story quoting a report in The Paper.

The Beijing Railway and Transport Court has accepted the case and the trial is scheduled to begin on August 24.

It is the first such lawsuit brought by a Chinese citizen against the authorities.

The story said that the woman, Li Yan (not her real name), was surprised to find a regular K1301 train she was travelling on between Beijing and Tianjin filled with cigarette smoke on June 9.

She noticed that many passengers and train staff were smoking in the smoking area of the train, which was under the supervision of the Harbin Railway Bureau, resulting in non-smoking passengers being subjected to second-hand smoke.

After what was described as an unpleasant journey, Li wrote letters of complaint to the National Railway Bureau and the Health and Family Planning Commissions of Beijing and Tianjin, but each of them replied that they were not responsible for the banning of smoking on trains.

Li then launched the lawsuit to ban smoking specifically on the K1301 train, as well as on the platforms of Beijing and Tianjin railway stations.

She wants also all smoking areas and paraphernalia to be removed, and she wants compensation for her ticket and a gauze mask used to reduce both her smoke inhalation and anguish. The total monetary claim comes to US$18.30.

According to the relevant regulations of Beijing and Tianjin, both cities prohibit smoking in indoor public places.

Meanwhile, all high-speed trains in China have banned passengers from lighting up, though there are designated smoking areas aboard regular trains that travel at less than 160 kilometres per hour.

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Category: Breaking News, Litigation, People, Regulation

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