Olympic Smoking Ban Stubbed Out Amid Backlash

China smokerIn a less-than-surprising , it appears Beijing’s plans to ban in places during the Olympics are being reconsidered. From AFP:

The Daily had reported two weeks ago that the Chinese capital on May 1 would ban smoking in all restaurants, offices and schools, and require bar owners to separate smoking and non-smoking areas.

It would have made Beijing the first Chinese city with such a comprehensive ban.

But the said Monday that Beijing authorities had since decided to exempt restaurants, bars and Internet cafes, amid fears China’s legions of persistent smokers would rebel.

“Owners of , both big and small, worried the plan would hurt their ,” the newspaper quoted Zhang Peili, a city legislative affairs official overseeing the rules, as saying.

“It is difficult for us to control smoking in restaurants. It’s just part of the culture.”

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