• Students pose for pictures with ''big cigarette models'' for a campaign.

Students pose for pictures with ''big cigarette models'' for a campaign. (Photo : Reuters)

Zhong Dongbo, deputy head of the Beijing Commission of Health and Family Planning Commission, has spoken in response to skepticism from the public regarding China's new smoking regulations.

Law-enforcement teams and launch tip-off hotlines were identified by Zhong as the key mechanisms to address breaches.

Like Us on Facebook

The deputy head's statement emerges after the State Council's legislative affairs office released a draft of a law on Nov. 24 last year that bans smoking in indoor public areas and restricts smoking in outdoor public spaces.

The law stipulates that outdoor smoking must only occur in designated smoking areas. The proposal was passed in the same month, but will not be effective until June this year.

Additionally, the June laws stipulate that all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are prohibited, while smoking scenes in films and TV shows that are deemed harmful will also be banned. In a historic move, graphic health warnings will also cover 50 percent of all Chinese tobacco packets.

As reported in the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), China had over 300 million dependent smokers--equivalent to approximately 28.1 percent of the adult population--at the time that the research was conducted.

WHO stated that around 1 million people die in China annually because of tobacco use, meaning that every 30 seconds a Chinese dies because of smoking. The report projected 3 million deaths a year by 2050.

Zhong told the media:

"Local departments will take measures when illegal smoking is reported, and reports from the public and how these reports are handled will be recorded . . . tobacco departments, education authorities and public security staff should all bear legal responsibility to contain public smoking."

The public's doubts have arisen because smoking is still observed in public spaces in the city.