With smokers almost the size of the US population and another 740 million people exposed to second-hand smoke and over a million smoking related deaths every year, China was regarded the last significant frontier for anti-tobacco activists to cross.
After a number of campaigns, the ruling Communist Party of China, gave the final nod for Beijing, the city with over 21 million population to impose the ban on smoking in public places overcoming the pressures from tobacco lobby which delivers billions of dollars revenue annually.
"We applauded Beijing for its strong and determined leadership in protecting the health of its people by making public places smoke-free. We are delighted to be formally recognising the Beijing Municipal Government with a WHO World No Tobacco Day Award," Shin Young-soo, Regional Director for the World Health Organisation (WHO )Western Pacific Regional Office said.

According to the WHO, Beijing's law is compliant with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and when fully implemented, will have a major impact on the health of Beijing's millions of residents.

Following the ban, the capital's airport will close three smoking rooms in its three terminals and open 11 smoking spaces outside. New outdoor smoking areas will be available at more than 600 bus stops around the city. Residents can report indoor smoking in public venues, and law enforcement officers will patrol Beijing's roads to help implement the regulation.

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