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Legal Update

Employer Responsibility under the Beijing Smoking Rule

10 June 2015
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

The Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress (BMPC) issued on 28 November 2014 the Beijing Regulation on Smoking Control (the "Regulation") which became effective from 1 June 2015. The Regulation is intended to be another major step to bring China into lines with modern countries. If it works, it will serve as the template for national Chinese rules and make Beijing an example for the entire Asian region.

The Regulation imposes strict responsibilities on employers in implementing smoking control measures.

The Regulation will outlaw smoking in the indoor areas of any employers' premises. Employers will be required to include smoking control in their daily management. Such controls will include:

  • establishing a non-smoking policy; and
  • posting visible no-smoking signs in the non-smoking areas and signs publishing the hotline for reporting the breach.

Any employer who fails to comply with the above may be subject to a fine of RMB2,000 to RMB5,000.

Employers should report any illegal smoking to the government.

Employers may wish to use technical measures. For instance, smoke alarm or video to monitor illegal smoking. Employers may also include disciplinary actions in their no-smoking policy or in the employee manual.

Employers may designate certain smoking areas outdoors. Such smoking areas should meet the following requirements:

  • they should include signage publicising the harm caused by smoking to health; and
  • the area should be away from any crowded area and away from any main passage for pedestrians.

Effective from 1 June 2015, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning (BJCHFP) has been launching a comprehensive inspection for the following three months in Beijing, the names of companies who violate the Smoking Regulation more than three times will be posted on a government website for a month.

Authors

  • Duncan A. W. Abate
    T +852 2843 2203
  • Hong Tran
    Partner
    T +852 2843 4233

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