18 April 2019
China has more than 300 million smokers. Photo: Bloomberg
China has more than 300 million smokers. Photo: Bloomberg

Tough curbs on tobacco ads in China weighed

China, the world’s top consumer of cigarettes, is considering tough curbs on tobacco advertising, Reuters reported on Monday, citing state media.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee is weighing an amendment to the advertising law to “protect minors” from harmful ads, including cigarette ads, Xinhua said.

If the amendment is approved, all tobacco ads will be banned except those posted in tobacco shops, Xinhua said, citing an official at the NPC Law Committee.

The amendment comes as the State Council, China’s cabinet, considers a ban on indoor smoking as well as an end to tobacco advertising.

Lobbying by the powerful state tobacco monopoly has stood in the way of tobacco control in the past.

China has more than 300 million smokers and hundreds of millions more exposed to second-hand smoke each year.

But last year the tobacco industry contributed more than 816 billion yuan (US$131.70 billion) in taxes to government revenues.

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