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A welcome move against smoking

Updated: 2014-01-02 08:02
( China Daily)

To make the ban on smoking in public places effective, the country's top authorities have issued a notice prohibiting Party and government officials at all levels from smoking in public and set an example for everyone to follow, which is a welcome move, says an article in Beijing Times. Excerpts:

Issued by the general offices of the State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the notice says Party members and government officials should not smoke in public places such as schools, hospitals and any other no-smoking areas. They should not smoke at official programs either. The notice also places officials under public supervision.

Many people are surprised that a matter as trivial as the ban on smoking has captured the imagination of top-level decision-makers. The fact is that people are so accustomed to smoking in public that the authorities often tended to ignore the practice even if they were upset about it. But as trivial as it may sound, the phenomenon is rampant and a health hazard for the public.

In the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping was smoking on the rostrum at an annual session of the National People's Congress, but he stubbed out his cigarette after receiving a note dissuading him from smoking. This shows that officials smoking in public create a negative impression on the people and that officials should set a good example in the ongoing anti-smoking campaign.

The CPC Central Committee and State Council notice thus embodies the "micromanagement" efforts of decision-makers in the new era. More such micromanagement measures will compel officials to improve their work style and image.