context: Tobacco control in China faces conflicts of interest at the top level. State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) shares the same leadership and structure with state monopoly China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC), but STMA is expected to advocate for the industry during national tobacco control policy discussions.

The draft ‘Regulation on tobacco control in public placessaw no progress in 2017, says Southern Metropolis Daily.

Government signed the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, but legislation at the national level has been slow and difficult due to persistent resistance from the tobacco industry.

National Health and Family Planning Commission listed the draft regulation as a priority and sent to State Council in October 2014. The draft, released for public comment in 2014, banned smoking in all public places. However, the new version in 2016 saw a step back, allowing smoking zones in some public places.

The draft of Basic Health Law under review by National People’s Congress in late 2017 suggests tobacco control in public places is locally decided. The chance of passing national regulations on tobacco control seems to be fading, according to tobacco control watchers.