On Nov. 11, Shanghai adopted a new law to prohibit smoking in all public areas and workplaces after months of intense debate. The law goes into effect in March.

At least 20 cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have no-smoking rules in public places. China has more than 300 million smokers and is the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco products, according to the World Health Organization. Smoking caused one million deaths in China in 2010, according to a study published by Lancet medical journal in 2015.

I visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an three years ago with my family. We all remarked on how nice it was to have a lack of smokers in heavily populated areas—something very uncommon in large cities we’ve been to such as Paris, London, and New York City. I doubt this law could be supported in large cities in the United States.

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