June 1st marks the first day that smoking will be banned in indoor places throughout Beijing, China, with fines of up to 200 yuan ($33) for individuals and 10,000 yuan for businesses that break the rules. Smoking is a national pastime in China with nearly a quarter of the population avid smokers.
Chinese officials have also launched a rare democratic initiative by asking online users to vote on one of three gestures to tell a nearby smoker to stop. What a great idea! (Maybe the USA should consider something similar.) For me, using hand gestures would certainly be less cumbersome and intimidating than having tell someone not to smoke. And for the record, I vote for gesture Number 1: I am Bothered by Your Smoke.