Hon Lik, the Chinese inventor of the modern e-cigarette, has predicted that Beijing’s new public-places smoking ban will prompt many consumers to switch from smoking to vaping. Although China’s e-cigarette market is still relatively small compared to those in other countries and smoking rates in China remain high, the ban—which took effect June 1—could be the push smokers need to quit combustible cigarettes.
Anyone who violates the ban on smoking in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools and certain outdoor public places will be fined CNY200 ($32.35). Other cities in China are expected to follow suit by implementing similar smoking bans as governments seek to improve public health.
The Crimean government has announced that a visiting delegation of Chinese businessmen intend to invest in tobacco cultivation within the territory, which was annexed by Russia in March 2014. Chinese equipment and technology would be supplied to the semiautonomous territory, which has been fighting to secure foreign investment amid trade sanctions imposed by Ukraine, the United States and the European Union following Russia’s annexation of the region.
“Tobacco is in huge demand in China, and Crimea has a suitable climate and soil for tobacco cultivation,” the delegation’s leader, Chen Zhijun, was quoted by news agency TASS as saying at a meeting with Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov.
Aksyonov and Chen on June 4 signed a protocol on investment cooperation, according to a press release posted on the Crimean government’s website.
Lawmakers in China may introduce tough new restrictions on tobacco advertisements, according to a story in the China Daily. A draft revision to the country’s 20-year-old Advertisements Law will be voted upon tomorrow; the revision was discussed Tuesday at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and is likely to be ratified.
The draft indicates that no tobacco advertisements should be displayed in public places or published in mass media outlets. While many lawmakers advocate a complete ban on tobacco advertisements in China and maintain that public health should be the country’s top priority, others recognize that the production of tobacco provides a significant source of income for farmers who reside in areas that are not suitable for other types of agriculture.
China signed the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003.
China’s tobacco companies produced more cigarettes even as the number of tobacco farms decreased in the first half of 2014, reports Xinhua News Agency quoting figures from the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA).
In the January-June period, Chinese cigarette manufacturers produced 1.3 million sticks, 0.2 percent more than in the first half of 2013. Meanwhile, the area of farming land dedicated to tobacco fell by 170,000 hectares to 1.23 million hectares, according to the STMA.
The tobacco industry generated RMB579.54 billion ($94 billion) in revenue for the Chinese government over the first half of 2014. Tobacco taxes constituted about 7.8 percent of China’s fiscal revenues during that period, according to the Finance Ministry and the STMA.
There are more than 300 million smokers in China
China’s cigarette production has soared over the past decade, despite efforts to curtail tobacco use, according to a new study, reported by China Daily.
Annual cigarette production in the world’s most populous country has increased 50 percent over the past 10 years, according to the report Tobacco Control in China from a Civil Society Perspective 2013. In the 12 months to October, Chinese tobacco companies produced 2.175 trillion cigarettes.
The latest finding echoed a similar recent assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO), which rates China as a poor performer among countries that have joined the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The WHO assessment awarded China two of a possible 16 points on public smoking control, and zero points on tobacco advertising control. Moreover, the country’s tobacco tax rate, at 43.4 percent, is still below the world average, the assessment noted.
The Chinese government signed the FCTC in 2003.
HongyunHonghe Tobacco Group, in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, recently launched its cigarette-processing unit for Africa at the Walvis Bay port in Namibia.
The project is intended to produce HongyunHonghe’s Yunyan, Honghe, Honghe and Honghe brands for sale in Africa.
The annual production capacity of the unit could reach 1 billion cigarettes.