China plans nationwide ban on tobacco advertising

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BEIJING -- China, home to the world's largest population of smokers, is planning a nationwide ban on cigarette advertising, according to local press reports.

Cao Ronggui, vice-minister of public health, said the government ultimately wants to wipe out cigarette advertising throughout the country, reports China Daily newspaper. The first step will be to establish cigarette ad-free cities.

Cao acknowledged the fact that Western tobacco companies have spent huge amounts of money on cigarette advertising in China, which is both the world's largest tobacco producer and consumer, and said China would resist the tobacco industry's attempts to create an even greater demand for tobacco products in the country.

There are already rules against public smoking in 59 Chinese cities and in the provinces of Jilin, Shandong and Shanxi. Smoke-free schools and colleges have also emerged, with 123 in Beijing alone. And many Chinese cities have banned tobacco advertising, including Beijing, Zhuhai in South China's Guangdong Province and Zhangjiagang in East China's Jiangsu Province.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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