Despite the known health risks of second hand smoke, a new poll claims that almost half (47percent) of Shanghai workplaces allow their employees to smoke at work.
Twenty-three percent of Shanghai people between 15 and 69 years-old are smokers, the majority of which are men. Some admit to have started smoking as early as 10 years-old.
Even though the smoking rate is declining, it’s coming down too slowly for some. “The smoking rate remained stable in the city for years and we are pushing for non-smoking workplaces to encourage more people to quit smoking and protect non-smokers,” said Chen De of the Shanghai Association on Tobacco Control.
Sixty percent of poll respondents said they were exposed to second-hand smoke at their workplace at least once a week, while 27 percent claim they were exposed daily.
Shanghai’s current anti-smoking regulations only forbid smoking in 13 public spaces such as primary schools, kindergartens and children’s hospitals. Exceptions are allowed for restaurants and businesses, depending on their size.
With cities like Beijing and Guangzhou having already introduced smoking bans, Shanghai residents are overwhelmingly in favor of implementing an indoor smoking ban. A survey of over 25,500 respondents conducted by the Shanghai Health Enhancement Commission found that 93 percent of Shanghai residents want an indoor smoking ban in the city.