Co-founder and head figure of Microsoft, Bill Gates, went to China to support the debate around the dangers of second hand smoking.
As ABC radio Australia reports, China has in May started to take the necessary steps against smoking, something many countries in Europe have started years ago. New rules, starting from May 2011, banning smoking in public venues like restaurants and hotels has yet to include work spaces.
Bill Gates says that he is actively working with Internet companies to raise awareness and to encourage non-smokers to in a mannered way ask smokers not to smoke around them. The idea is to get the public to be self aware and take action making the rule banning smoking a lot more effective as people relate and respect people more than a rule set upon them.
“I think we can be pioneers in how online media both lets people know about the damage of forced smoking and gives them some education about how in a very polite way they can ask people not to put them in that situation,” Mr. Gates said.
In China, roughly 30 per cent of the the adult population smoke, around 300 million people creating staggering statistics, as this results in around 1 million people dying from smoking-related illness every year and rising.
China’s Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu knows that there still is a long way and a lot of work before China has smoking under control.
“We haven’t completed the task we had promised at the FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). Tobacco products still harm society severely. If we can’t handle the challenge of tobacco well, we will have three million people dead from tobacco every year from 2030,” he said.
The new rules against smoking does not come as a surprise as it has been seen before, by many countries in Europe, over the last 10 years with great results.Further reading: Bill Gates, China, Microsoft