BEIJING, China, September 26. BEGINNING October 1, taxi cabs in China will become "No Smoking" automobiles. The decision by Chinese officials to institute a smoking ban in 66,000 cabs is part of a move toward a Green Olympics. China, very much concerned with the way it will be rated as an Olympic host, is intent on making next year's Games the cleanest in history.
Not only will passengers be banned from smoking inside a cab, the drivers will also be forbidden from lighting up. Passengers who violate the smoking ban will have their names published in Chinese media reports. Smoking will also be banned at Olympic venues, anywhere athletes may be staying outside of the Olympic village and in all vehicles associated with the Olympics.
The ban is expected to face opposition as almost half of the male population in Beijing smokes. Cab drivers may not be able to stop passengers from smoking. In addition to seeking a stellar showing in the medal count, China is extremely concerned with the public perception of the Beijing Games. Officials deeply desire a spectacle rated as one of the finest in history.