• A woman smokes an e-cigarette.

A woman smokes an e-cigarette. (Photo : REUTERS)

The Chinese government is dedicated to make smoking a non-public health concern as soon as possible. Beijing, in particular, started a public vote to choose one of the three "non-smoking" hand signals, while Shanghai is currently planning to enact a law that would prohibit smoking in indoor areas.

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Beijing is set on making its citizens safe from smoking health hazards. It has launched a campaign that includes regulations that would control smoking, both indoors and outdoors. These regulations are set to be implemented by June 1, 2015.

Under the new set of rules, Beijing residents would not be allowed to smoke in work areas, public walkways and public transportation. Smoking is also strictly prohibited in lineups.

This is considered the strictest set of rules against smoking so far. Violators would face high penalties. An individual who disobeyed the new rule would be fined up to 200 yuan. A company that would not observe the new rule would face penalties of up to 10,000 yuan.

As part of this determination to eradicate smoking, local authorities have put up three types of hand signals for voting. The three pictures are characterized as following: covering one's nose with a hand which means, "Your smoking is disturbing me-I mind"; making a diagonally slanted letter "T" with one's hands, which means "Please stop smoking"; and lastly, holding a hand up to the smoker, which means "Smoking is forbidden here."

Citizens of the city can cast their votes on various authorized platforms such as Sina Weibo and WeChat. Citizens can also create an account on http://news.brtn/cn/special/beijingkongyan so they would be updated on the campaign and also cast their votes online.

On the other hand, Shanghai is already gearing to pass an amendment to its anti-tobacco law. The current law in place, which is the Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Smoking Control in Public Places, prohibits citizens from smoking in 13 types of places such as primary schools and kindergartens, restaurants, business areas and other public places.

With the reform, Shanghai is looking into banning smoking in indoor areas as well. Advertisements, promotions and sponsorships of the said practice would be outlawed as well.