A Chinese student took umbrage to co-passengers smoking on a slow train, dragging the Harbin Railway Bureau to court. Ordering a ban on smoking on slow trains, the Beijing Railway Transport Court asked the railway to do away with smoking areas and facilities within 30 days. The verdict said the railway violated a passenger transport regulation in which train operators are required to provide an environment to ensure safety. Smoking is prohibited on high-speed trains. Smokers expose others to second-hand smoke that contains toxic chemicals. The ban, a shot in the arm for tobacco control efforts, is the first in China in which smoking was prohibited on ordinary trains.
Illustrations: Peter C. Espina/Global Times