Beijing to launch 100-day

Beijing to launch 100-day anti-smoking campaign

Beijing, May 27 (IANS) China’s capital Beijing will launch a 100-day anti-smoking campaign from July 1 to encourage more smokers to quit.

The effort will build on the success already achieved since China’s strictest tobacco control regulation took effect in the capital last year, the China Daily reported on Friday.

Since then, tobacco control in Beijing has made significant progress, with smoking in indoor public places decreasing greatly, Mei Hongguang, deputy director for health promotion at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, said on Thursday.

During the campaign, launched jointly by the commission and the World Health Organisation, participants will be encouraged to receive professional services at clinics that help smokers quit at 16 major hospitals in Beijing, or they can seek advice and help through three health service hotlines, Mei said.

Smokers will be invited to interact and share their experiences on social media such as WeChat, he said.

Any resident in Beijing who is over 18 years old and has been smoking for more than a year is eligible to register until June 30, he said.

Participants who successfully quit smoking will have a chance to win prizes worth up to 20,000 yuan ($3,100), Mei said.

Since the start of controls last year, smoking in major public places, such as railways stations and hotels, has decreased, according to a survey conducted by the commission between March and April. The number of cigarettes sold in Beijing last year fell 2.71 percent from 2014, said Gao Xiaojun, the commission’s spokesman.

The survey, which looked at 5,100 residents and 728 businesses, found the greatest smoking decline in restaurants.

Only 6.7 percent of all facilities surveyed were found in violation of the regulation, compared with more than 23 percent a year ago when the regulation was adopted, Gao said.

More than 46 percent of smokers surveyed said they planned to quit, compared with 11.6 percent who said so before the regulation, Gao said.

Health law enforcement officers in Beijing had imposed penalties on more than 1,500 individuals and nearly 400 businesses as of the end of April, levying total fines of more than 1.12 million yuan.

Adoptions decline after China drops one-child policy

Beijing, May 27 (IANS) The relaxation of China’s family planning policy has led to a drop in the number of children being adopted, a trend that is expected to continue, a media report said on Friday.

“The fall in the number of adoptions is the result of economic growth, improvements to the social welfare system and adjustment of the family planning policy,” said an official at the ministry of civil affairs’ department of social affairs.

“People’s attitude to having children has also changed, and fewer parents are abandoning their children, which has resulted in fewer eligible adoptees at welfare institutions,” the China Daily reported citing the official as saying.

The number of children adopted by Chinese families has fallen in the past five years. According to the ministry, 29,618 adoption cases were competed in 2010, while last year the number dropped to 17,201.

Tong Xiaojun, director of the China Research Institute of Children and Adolescents, said, “Theoretically, relaxation of the family planning policy will continue to cause a decline in the number of adoptions.”

Tong said two types of family have been the main groups seeking to adopt-couples unable to have their own children and those with a single child and wanting a second but could not have one because of the previous family planning policy.

“Many families in China want two children, a boy and a girl, to make a ‘perfect family’,” Tong said.

China’s Adoption Law states that qualified applicants must not have a child of their own. If they have a child, they can adopt a second if that child is an orphan, abandoned or a child with special needs in a welfare institution.

An official at a child welfare institution in Shanxi province said only five children from his institution were adopted by Chinese families last year.

“There is a lot of pressure on couples raising a child with special needs, especially in China. With the easing of the one-child policy, people have the chance to have their own children… Who will seek to adopt?” he said.

To make it easier for couples to adopt, the civil affairs ministry has been working on amending the Adoption Law since the family planning policy was changed in December 2015.

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