Tuesday, September 16, 2008

China’s addiction to nicotine? Staggering—Beijing’s smoke-free Olympics? Admirable

Since Beijing hosted the 2008 summer Olympics, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about the world’s largest country; but here’s something you might not know. Check out China’s addiction to nicotine:

  • 350 million smokers
  • Six in 10 men smoke regularly
  • 1,000,000 people die of smoking-related diseases every year

Yet even China- addicted to cigarettes like no other country on Earth- has passed a smoke-free law for public spaces. On May 30, the health ministry announced the entire Olympic games and Beijing, China's Capitol city, would be smoke-free. Beijing’s residents, Olympic athletes, spectators, and officials from all over the world all breathed easier this summer.

Thanks to some forward thinking by Chinese health officials, the only smoke at the Olympic games came off the sprinters' shoes.

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