Beijing Government Urges Citizens to Report Indoor Smokers

| May 11, 2015 07:39 AM EDT

Smokers are still seen to be huffing and puffing cigarettes in public areas despite the law against it.

Beijing government officials announced on Sunday that city residents may report indoor smokers in public areas through the popular messaging app WeChat after the "strictest" smoking ban policy takes effect in June, the Global Times reported.

According to Liu Zejun, director of Beijing Patriotic Health Campaign Committee, Beijing's residents may inform law enforcers by uploading a photo of an indoor smoker through the government's WeChat account.

Public establishments that are regularly reported will also be inspected, while managers with spotted smokers in the vicinity will be penalized, the director added.

Aside from public establishments' surveillance, law enforcement officers will also roam around Beijing to spot on smokers.

Passed in Nov. 2014 by Beijing's municipal legislature, the policy states that smoking will be banned in all indoor public places, workplaces and in public transportation areas "with no loopholes and no exemptions."

Public smokers are bound for the supervision of law enforcement officials, Liu said.

However, as the application of the policy is approaching, plenty of Beijing citizens are questioning its efficiency as previous smoking campaigns were not thoroughly followed by the masses.

Numbers of smokers are still seen to be huffing and puffing cigarettes in public areas.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), China has more than 300 million smokers, which is one-third of the world's total smokers.

Globally, over one million deaths recorded are due to tobacco-related illness, and about 100,000 people die as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke each year.

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