In spite of the national tobacco control policies, Yunnan also held conferences to control over smoking. In 2009, “Pioneers for Health” and other organizations held a Health and Development Conference in Kunming, where tobacco control was emphasized. “Pioneers for Health” is a health policy non-governmental organization (NGO) in China. The theme of the conference was “Tobacco Control for the Creation of a Healthy Lifestyle.” During the conferences, the participants discussed tobacco control concerns over public health, community development, domestic economy, people’s livelihood, and government’s image. This conference raises people’s awareness of the importance of tobacco control. (The Economics Daily 1)
There are also other conferences related to tobacco control in Yunnan. In 2011, Yunnan Provincial Health Bureau held the first conference on tobacco control. In addition, a series of public smoking-control promotion activities were held in Yunnan. This conference has gained some positive achievements. More people are aware of the negative effects of the smoking. However, the indoor smoking-ban remains ineffective in Yunnan. Compared with western restaurants, cinemas, bookstores, tea houses, there are more people smoking indoor in China (Lynn 1).
Compared with Beijing, the smoking ban is more difficult to achieve in Yunnan. China’s Ministry of Health announced to start the smoking ban from January 1, 2011, which includes all indoor public spaces places. Yunnan has been posting anti-smoking billboards around Kunming and preventing smoking in government buildings and medical facilities. The head of tobacco control for the Yunnan Health Education Department said it will be very difficult to achieve a smoking ban in the context of Yunnan, where tobacco industry accounts to 70% of government revenue. In addition, farmers in Yunnan have to rely on tobacco production as the main source of income because the climate and soil conditions make Yunnan an ideal place to grow tobacco. Therefore, a deep-tooted culture of smoking and the economic losses that Yunnan might suffer if tobacco consumption falls could make the smoking ban less effective in other areas of China (Siekman 1).
The progress of the health warning labels on the cigarette packages has been slight in Yunnan. The cigarette packets only have a simple message printed in text, with no eye-catching pictures. The government is mandating a larger font size of labels and use images to control tobacco use. However, the Ministry of Health is not as powerful as the tobacco producers. The cigarette makers are not willing to let tobacco consumption falls by printing ugly pictures on the cigarette packets. For example, Hongta tobacco group said the use of pictures would affect the gift function of cigarettes. Thus, the pressure and power from large tobacco companies make it difficult to use health warning labels in tobacco control.
The advertising ban on tobacco is also not comprehensive in Yunnan....