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BEIJING, China -- With 300 million smokers, China is the world's leading producer and consumer of tobacco products. But its Ministry of Health has banned cigarette venders, along with indoor smoking in many public venues as of May 1, said a Chinese news agency. | SEE STORY
Under the measure, cigarette vending machines and smoking will be prohibited from such public venues as movie theaters, shopping malls and libraries. But the ban does not apply to factories, workplaces, offices or government buildings, and the new regulations do not specify any penalties for violators.
A similar ban was imposed in 2008 in Beijing only, but citizens and government largely ignored it.