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Smoke Free Areas??

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Wellington, New...
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221 posts
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Smoke Free Areas??

Is there any legislation regarding smoking in public areas of Shanghai? My hubby has been asked if he would go to Shanghai for 3 months for work and he is a little worried about smog and smoking because he is an asthmatic. Are restaurants and other public places smoke free? He is not anti smoking persay but finds it difficult in enclosed areas with smokers close by.

Shanghai, China
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1. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

Yes, there is a legislation that smoking is not allowed in public places. Like in traffic there are also laws. Problem is not that the laws are not there, problem is that they are not enforced and hence ignored. So if you will find people smoking everywhere. And if you complain to someone smoking under a big "no smoking" sign you are most likely to get "this is China, if you don't like it go back to your country" as an answer. Staff in a restaurant could not care less because they are too afraid that the one they throw out because of smoking knows people in the government and they get into trouble and/or loose their job...

WTC = Welcome to China

NNJ
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2. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

The situation is much better now, at least in Shanghai. I had two instances that I had to asked the staff (who saw, but just ignored) to reminder the offender the sign: once on a train and another in a non-smocking area of a restaurant. In both cases, the offenders stopped without any issue. That was about ten years ago. I haven’t got a chance to have to do this again recently. Another place where the no smocking sign is still ignored sometime is the taxi where the driver is often the offender (when the driver was alone). Tell your husband to take only the taxi of big companies, like Dazhong (cyan), Jinjiang (white), Qiangsheng(yellow) or Bashi (green). Since each company’s cars have their own unique color, it’s very easy to recognize them. I was told that if the driver from these companies smocks (uses cell phone or spit to outside), the passenger can refuse to pay the fare. I use taxi almost exclusively (except during rush hour to catch a train or a flight) when in shanghai and found drivers from these companies sticks to the rules. Another problematic place is the open hall of a restaurant where smock is still allowed, except high end or many non-Chinese restaurants. Fortunately, all decent size restaurants have private dinner rooms (but need to book at lest one day earlier for most of them and with minimal spending limit).

Edited: 8:20 am, September 22, 2012
Shanghai, China
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3. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

It would take a long long time before this beautiful country of ours become smoke free.The smoking phenomenon was made worse by our granddad and grandma who were chain smokers and also by past leaders.Situation become even more firghtening with the introduction of opium by the britishers.It took such a long time to kick that habit out by force.,as life was bad enough at that time.

Recent law compelling smokers not to smoke in public places was approved last year,no definate penalty was dictated if caught.Half hearted enforcement by the authourities have seen only slight improvement,with the recent awareness of the bad effects of smoking.

Restaurants are unlikely to be very strict with offenders,close both eyes and not one., for as you know we chinese worship the god of prosperity.

But frankly there is actually a significant reduction in the smoking and also spitting habits here.

However Shanghai to be frank has a pollution level and a climate not very conducive for asthmatics.Hopefully he has the inhalers and medications on hand always.

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
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4. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

Yes, your husband will have problems throughout the country in enclosed places.

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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5. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

Yes, they smoke everywhere in China, and in Europe too, but the whole world was like this, smoke-free is a new trend.

Today I walked through a spice market, a herb market, a dried seafood market and a pet market, I was enjoying the exotic smell and then I smell smoke, but instead of being annoyed, I suddenly realized this is the smell of China, the spices, herb, tea leaves, dried seafoods, dogs and cats, cigarrette smoke, exhaust fume, polution, they are all parts of the exotic package, the experience, the high energy, they are attractive, I love it. In 2 days I will be home where the sky is unbelievablly beautiful blue and air is pure, restuarant tables will be clean, people will be super polite and nice, women will be double or triple sizes, no more dirty taxis and rude drivers. I better enjoy the 2nd hand smoke as much as I can before I leave. I love the whole package. Often I can't wait to leave China, but once I am home, I miss it, the highly charged energy, yes, 2nd hand smoke is part of it. If I can't handle it, I should stay home.

Laws are just suggestions.

Dublin, California
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6. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

I haven't encountered any smoking problems in bigger restaurants, esp. those catering to foreigners. In small family owned restaurants there may be issues. Smog may be a bigger concern.

Wellington, New...
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221 posts
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7. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

Thank you everyone for your information. It is very much appreciated.

Shanghai, China
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5,716 posts
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8. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

Just been to Dishuidong last week and a table about 6 people were smoking away.I m sure they are not from here as i can differentiate them but more from dongbei accent.A table next to them is 4 expats,visibly annoyed and disturbed by the heavy smoking and drinking,but they were too gentleman to do or say anything in a foreign place i think.Out of a dozen times i am there this is the third smoking incident i had seen there.

Shanghai, China
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5,716 posts
47 reviews
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9. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

i have yet to see a smoking room in Shanghai or is it that im not looking hard enough.

Vancouver, Canada
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203 posts
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10. Re: Smoke Free Areas??

I would suggest your husband to wear cotton made mask while traveling in public area .

At major hospital in shanghai, people just ignore the smokig free sign , they smoke at stairs where signs are on the wall.