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Notice on Further Strengthening the Work of Smoking Control for Teenagers

Notice from the China government

GWGHH [2019] No. 230

Health Committee, Propaganda Department of Party committee, Education department (Education Committee, bureau), Market supervision bureau (Department, committee), Radio and Television Bureau (culture, sports, radio, television and Tourism Bureau), Tobacco Monopoly Bureau, Youth League Committee and women’s Federation of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government and Xinjiang production and Construction Corps:

In order to implement the opinions of the State Council on the implementation of the health China action, promote the implementation of the tobacco control action of the health China action (2019-2030), further strengthen the tobacco control work for adolescents, and create a good environment for adolescents to stay away from tobacco, the relevant work is hereby notified as follows:

I. Attach great importance to the significance of smoking control for teenagers

Tobacco smoke is harmful to the health of teenagers. Adolescent smoking can cause serious harm to many systems, especially respiratory system and cardiovascular system. Nicotine contained in tobacco is toxic to the brain and nerves, which will cause memory loss and mental retardation. Nicotine has a strong addiction, once smoking addiction, it is difficult to quit. The earlier the age of starting smoking, the greater the amount of smoking in adulthood, the greater the harm of tobacco to the body.

All localities should fully understand the significance of strengthening youth tobacco control for the overall tobacco control work, raise the youth tobacco control work to a height that is related to the future of the country and the future of the nation, take a highly responsible attitude towards the people, especially the next generation, and practically make the youth tobacco control work as the focus of the current tobacco control work, as to achieve the goal of “reducing the smoking rate of people over 15 years old to 20% by 2030”. As an important measure of the tobacco control goal, we build a safe barrier for the healthy growth of young people.

II. Pay close attention to the tobacco control of teenagers

(1) to strengthen the propaganda and guidance of youth tobacco control. We should scientifically guide teenagers to establish a good health concept, firmly establish the concept of “being the first responsible person for health”, advocate teenagers to “refuse the first cigarette”, and become a new generation of “no smoking, be healthy and be fashionable”. We should increase the publicity of tobacco control among young people, make full use of the theme activities such as patriotic health month and World No Tobacco Day, carry out various forms of tobacco control publicity in a form that young people can understand and easily accept, widely publicize the harm of tobacco smoke, and promote the formation of a smoke-free environment for young people. We should give full play to the role of the main channel of school education, incorporate tobacco hazards and second-hand smoke hazards into the health education curriculum of primary and secondary school students, and accelerate the cultivation of youth smoke-free culture. We should actively mobilize young people to join the tobacco control team, and actively play the role of young people volunteers to protect their health. (led by the National Health Commission, coordinated by the Central Propaganda Department, the Ministry of education, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the all China Women’s Federation)

(2) to severely investigate and deal with the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors. Tobacco monopoly retailers shall set up signs in prominent positions not to sell tobacco products to minors, and shall require them to show identity documents if it is difficult to determine whether they have reached adulthood. The entity business without tobacco monopoly retail license shall not sell tobacco monopoly products, or even “tea smoke” and other fancy and personalized packages of illegal tobacco monopoly products. No citizen, legal person or other organization may retail tobacco monopoly products through information network, such as online shopping platform, take out platform, social platform, etc. All localities should effectively strengthen the supervision of tobacco sales market, supervise and investigate illegal tobacco sales, and ensure that businesses do not sell cigarettes to minors and minors cannot buy cigarettes. (the State Administration of tobacco and the State Administration of market supervision are respectively responsible for this)

(3) to intensify the crackdown on illegal tobacco advertisements. Teenagers are easily tempted by tobacco advertisements and try to smoke. No organization or individual may publish tobacco advertisements in mass media or public places, public transportation means or outdoors, or use the Internet to publish tobacco advertisements, or send tobacco advertisements in any form to minors. All regions should further strengthen the crackdown on illegal tobacco advertisements. (responsible by the General Administration of Market Regulation and the State Tobacco Administration)

(4) to strengthen the examination of smoking scenes in film and television works. Young people are prone to blind pursuit of stars. The smoking scenes of stars in film and television works are easy to mislead young people to follow suit. We should strengthen the pre broadcast examination of films and TV plays, strictly control the smoking scenes that have nothing to do with the plot or the characterization of the characters in the films and TV plays, try to cut down the scenes that smoke in the public places, and do not allow the scenes that minors smoke. Films and TV plays with excessive display of smoking scenes shall not be included in the evaluation activities of various films and TV plays. Tobacco scene should be regarded as an important evaluation index for recommending excellent films to primary and secondary school students. Those who excessively display smoking scenes should not be included in the recommended catalogue of film and television plays. (the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television are respectively responsible)

All localities should take the initiative to strengthen publicity and education on the hazards of electronic cigarettes, do not promote electronic cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, and encourage young people to stay away from electronic cigarettes. In local tobacco control legislation, law modification and law enforcement, we should actively promote the prohibition of vaping in public places. In combination with special actions such as comprehensive management around primary and secondary schools, we should warn all kinds of market entities not to sell electronic cigarettes.

(6) to make every effort to promote the construction of smoke-free primary and secondary schools. Building a smoke-free school and providing a fresh smoke-free campus environment for children is very important for the healthy growth of teenagers. To strengthen the construction of smoke-free schools, no one is allowed to smoke in the non-smoking areas of the campus and other places for concentrated activities of minors, and strictly investigate and punish the illegal sales of tobacco products in and around the campus. The school should strengthen management, set up no smoking signs and reporting telephone in striking positions on the campus, and strengthen daily patrol management. Strengthen the propaganda and education on the harm of smoking to health, and promote students to form good habit of smokeless behavior. (Led by the Ministry of Education and coordinated by the State Health Commission, the State Administration of Market Supervision and the State Tobacco Administration)

III. Establish and improve the long-term mechanism of youth tobacco control

(1) Health, publicity, Youth League Committee, women’s Federation and other departments should strengthen the publicity and education of tobacco hazards, especially electronic cigarette hazards, guide young people to be the first person responsible for their own health and take the initiative to stay away from tobacco hazards.

(II) the education department shall strengthen the construction of smoke-free primary and secondary schools, strengthen the smoke-free environment on campus, check and clean up the business activities such as selling cigarettes in supermarkets or small shops, issuing tobacco advertisements or disguised tobacco advertisements, naming schools with tobacco brands or tobacco companies, organizing students to participate in tobacco promotion, etc., and shall not recommend movies and TV plays with excessive smoking scenes to students.

(3) the market supervision department shall comprehensively clean up tobacco advertisements and disguised tobacco advertisements, seriously investigate and punish the illegal sales of tobacco products by the entity businesses without tobacco monopoly retail license, and severely crack down on the Internet sales of tobacco products.

(4) the Department of tobacco monopoly administration shall strengthen the supervision of the tobacco industry, carefully investigate and deal with the problems of illegal sales of tobacco monopoly products, the issuance of tobacco monopoly retail licenses, the issuance of tobacco advertisements, and the sale of tobacco to minors.

(5) the competent department of film and TV series shall increase the examination of smoking scenes in film and TV series, strictly control smoking scenes in film and TV series, and minimize the impact of smoking scenes of film and TV stars on teenagers. Movies and TV series with excessive display of smoking scenes shall not be included in various appraisal activities.

All departments should fulfill their responsibilities, give full play to their advantages, strengthen communication and cooperation, focus on prevention, move forward the checkpoint, and work together to promote youth tobacco control. The National Health Commission will carry out a special action on tobacco control for adolescents in conjunction with various departments, accelerate the formation of a normalization mechanism of multi department joint management, wide participation and supervision by the media and the public, and create a good social environment for adolescents to stay away from tobacco.

National Health and Health Commission

Ministry of Education

General Administration of Market Supervision

State Administration of Radio, Film and Television

Central Committee of the Communist Youth League

October 29, 2019

Related: Market Regulation Announcement from China Tobacco Monopoly Bureau and State Market Administration

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