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China, United States cooperate on smoking control in workplaces

BEIJING, Aug. 17 — China and the United States have established the Sino-U.S. Partnership on Smoke-free Workplaces, pledging cemented efforts regarding tobacco control in workplaces.

The partnership was announced in a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States (HHS) on Friday. The two sides pledged to boost bilateral cooperation in the field within both the public and private sectors.

The two sides hope to draw more attention to the dangers of tobacco and improve the health of employees by controling smoking in workplaces, the statement said.

The MOH and HHS, along with key partners, will recruit participants, including government offices and enterprises, to join the partnership in order to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in public places, the statement said.

The joint statement said tobacco use is a leading cause of death in both China and the United States.

Over 1 million people in China and an estimated 443,000 people in the United States die from tobacco-related diseases each year, according to the statement.

Chinese government included a public smoking ban in the country's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) issued last March.

China's top legislature is also actively preparing for tobacco control legislation, as a smoking ban for indoor public places issued last year has been deemed ineffective. (PNA/Xinhua)

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