Beijing sends out positive 'smoke' signals

Beijing sends out positive 'smoke' signals

Beijing has seen a decline in smoking in the past 12 months thanks to efforts in campuses to stub out the habit, a survey suggests.

The capital ranks second in the smoke-free city league, according to a recent poll of 800 colleges and universities by the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control .

The city ranked 23rd in 2011.

"There has been an obvious improvement in setting up nonsmoking environments in colleges and universities over the past year," Xu Guihua, deputy director of the association, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The survey studied signs of smoking in colleges, such as the number of ashtrays, butts, anti-smoking logos and signs as well as the number of people actually lighting up.

The survey saw clear signs of a reduction in tobacco use over two years.

It found that 194 colleges and institutes, 24.25 per cent, qualified as tobacco-free campuses. This was a marked improvement on 2012 when only 139 of 800 colleges and universities reached this standard. In 2011 it was just 16.

Political and other majors, including, surprisingly, sports had more smokers and even cigarettes available on their section of campus, while the medical and language majors were much better off, the report said.

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