Hospitals in Sichuan to go smoke-free


Chengdu Evening News
October 30, 2009

Come 2012, medical facilities in Sichuan will require you to step outside for your smoke break.

Today’s Chengdu Evening News announced the start of an anti-smoking campaign intended to bring the province in line with the WHO‘s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Twenty percent of the province’s hospitals should go smoke-free by the end of this year, 50% by the end of 2010, and the rest by the end of 2011.

Conspicuous “no smoking” signs will go up, ash trays will be removed from conference rooms, and cigarette ads will be barred from hospital shops. Additionally, smoking will be incorporated into performance reviews for medical staff and their employers.

Some statistics provided by the newspaper:

  • Percentage of doctors in Sichuan who smoke: 16.89% (33.9% of male doctors and 13.8% of female doctors);
  • Average number of cigarettes smoked per day by male doctors who smoke: 12;
  • Percentage of doctors aged 60-69 who smoke: over 50%;
  • Percentage of doctors who have smoked in front of patients: 4.3%.

The money quote:

Professor Li Jing, head of the Huaxi Hospital Mental Health Center’s Substance Dependence Department at Sichuan University, told this reporter yesterday…that although doctors may be more knowledgeable about medical matters than ordinary people, some doctors who smoke are insufficiently aware of how unhealthy smoking is, and believe that smoking is not very harmful.

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