Three hospitals in Beijing on Thursday announced the launch of
outpatient services to help smokers quit in a move to mark the 20th
World No Tobacco Day.
The city was making efforts to create smoke-free hospitals and
encourage medical staff to quit smoking, said Liu Ying, an official
with the disease control section of the Beijing Municipal Health
With the Fuxing, Zhongguancun and Beijing No. 6 hospitals, the
number of city hospitals with regular quit-smoking outpatient
services rose to six.
The service comprised counseling and medication, including
Bupropion, an anti-depressant drug commonly used to help smokers
quit, alongside nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), said Liu
Xiurong, head of health education with Beijing Center for Disease
Control and Prevention.
All medical staff working in the services at the three hospitals
had received training either in Hong Kong or in Beijing, said
"I hope the service will help to smokers who have difficulty
quitting on their own," said Liu.
Services are also available at Anzhen Hospital, China-Japan
Friendship Hospital and Chaoyang Hospital.
China is the world's largest tobacco producing and consuming
country, accounting for more than a third of the global total on
both counts. It has more than 350 million smokers and nearly one
million die from smoking-related diseases each year, according to
the Ministry of Health.
About 540 million Chinese suffer the effects of secondhand smoke
and more than 100,000 die annually from diseases caused by passive
smoking, said the ministry's 2007 Report on China's Smoking
China joined the international fight against tobacco consumption
when it signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the
World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2003.
As the host of the 2008 summer Olympic Games, Beijing has also
been waging campaigns for a smoke-free Games.
In April, municipal government departments, including the
bureaus of health and commerce, issued a circular asking all
catering businesses to implement tobacco controls.
By June next year, smoking bans should be enforced in all hotels
that provide services for athletes and other workers of the Olympic
Games, all competition venues and restaurants in Olympic
Large and medium-sized catering ventures should also advocate a
smoking ban and make at least 75 percent of their floor space
(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2007)