Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
December 30, 2013

Communist Party officials must not smoke in public places or buy cigarettes using public funds, and should encourage their colleagues to quit smoking, a top Chinese government body said in a circular on Sunday.

China is the world’s largest tobacco consumer. Smoking is deeply entrenched in Chinese social life, particularly for men, and luxury cigarettes are frequently given as gifts.

Beijing pledged in 2008 to ban smoking in most public venues, including government offices, but enforcement has remained lax and no-smoking signs are frequently ignored.

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