Bill Gates working to fight secondhand smoking in China

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is on a mission in China. His objective has little to do with the company he founded, especially given that 90% of Windows copies in that country are pirated. Instead of piracy, his concerns are much more universal to the global population - the longevity of human life at risk due to smokers and people inhaling secondhand smoke.

According to Radio Australia News, 30% of China's 1.3 billion people - about 300 million - are smokers. A million of the Chinese population die from illnesses brought by smoking each year. Until last month, people were free to smoke inside buildings. Smoking is now banned in places such as hotels and restaurants, but workers in workplaces can still smoke indoors. Smokers and non-smokers alike are both at risk from secondhand smoke wafting around in tightly confined spaces.

Gates is hoping to change that. During his visit to China, he worked with Internet companies to encourage people against smoking around non-smokers, and for non-smokers to exercise their right to a healthy working environment. In a statement, Gates said:

I think we can be pioneers in how online media both lets people know about the damage of forced smoking and gives them some education about how in a very polite way they can ask people not to put them in that situation.

This alliance will let us bring new resources and new creativity to that, both the traditional media and the online media, and I think we can be pioneers in how online media, both lets people know about the damage of forced smoking and gives them some education about how in a very polite way they can ask people not to put them in that situation.

The Chinese government is hoping to tackle the problems of smoking with actions that go beyond the recently introduced rules, according to the Chinese health minister Huang Jiefu. Huang warns that if nothing is done to alleviate this problem, the number of Chinese dying from smoking-related illnesses will increase threefold by 2030.

Image Credit: Stock photography from sxc.hu

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple Store employee publicizes effort to unionize store employees

Next Story

Steve Jobs: iWeb and MobileMe site hosting are dead

43 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I get it, he wants the slaves to be <i>healthy</i> slaves.

Like others have said, let's not forget all the TOXIC crap being FORCED into the entire cities. Anyone remember how much they shut down and had to air out before the Olympics? Of course not. It hasn't stayed all happy and nice since they did that (temporarily). If anything, many places are probably worse.

If tobacco (2nd hand or otherwise) is the worst thing people are involuntarily breathing, I'd be very surprised.

Of all the things to worry about in this world, and especially in such a country.

If he really wanted to champion something, it could be more important than tobacco use in a non-free country that spews tons of toxic crap into the world.

kansanian said,
I get it, he wants the slaves to be <i>healthy</i> slaves.

Like others have said, let's not forget all the TOXIC crap being FORCED into the entire cities. Anyone remember how much they shut down and had to air out before the Olympics? Of course not. It hasn't stayed all happy and nice since they did that (temporarily). If anything, many places are probably worse.

If tobacco (2nd hand or otherwise) is the worst thing people are involuntarily breathing, I'd be very surprised.

Of all the things to worry about in this world, and especially in such a country.

If he really wanted to champion something, it could be more important than tobacco use in a non-free country that spews tons of toxic crap into the world.

Here, here.

Oh for god sake (not religious but do however like to use the name in vein). Bill Gates is a great guy for all the work he has done with charities in the past and I (and so do allot of people) have huge respect for him because of that but this is just ridiculous. There is yet to be ANY proven science or scientific consensus on the dangers of second hand smoking and nd until there is, do everyone a favour and stop trying to encroach on peoples freedoms for something that remains unproven. I'm a non smoker.

LordBattleBeard said,
Oh for god sake (not religious but do however like to use the name in vein). Bill Gates is a great guy for all the work he has done with charities in the past and I (and so do allot of people) have huge respect for him because of that but this is just ridiculous. There is yet to be ANY proven science or scientific consensus on the dangers of second hand smoking and nd until there is, do everyone a favour and stop trying to encroach on peoples freedoms for something that remains unproven. I'm a non smoker.

Here, some light reading material for you.
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol83/index.php
http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/5/1048.long
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.../PMC1805004/?tool=pmcentrez
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...s/PMC487731/?tool=pmcentrez

I can get in my car tonight and have a wreck and kill someone.. Should we ban cars or try to limit the use of them. This whole idea of telling people what to do just cause you do not like it is getting out of hand. How on earth did the human race survive without the nanny states and governments.

Dusco25 said,
I can get in my car tonight and have a wreck and kill someone.. Should we ban cars or try to limit the use of them. This whole idea of telling people what to do just cause you do not like it is getting out of hand. How on earth did the human race survive without the nanny states and governments.

Driving your car is dangerous to you and other people, but the government does not allow you to drive on the sidewalk. There are also limitations like speed limits and stop signs to try and keep the roads safe. Smoking is also dangerous to you and others. The government is trying to keep those who choose not to risk their lives by smoking from inevitably being put at risk.

Not to be a douche or anything, but it's not like they have a shortage of people. Didn't they just recently lift the ban on having too many children? I say let em' smoke, it's helping get the population under control. THEN start the no-smoking campaigns. I mean hell 1/5 of people in the world live in China...

Then again we do have to save everybody, give every human being a chance to live and consume resources, even if our planet is being pushed beyond its limit at 7 billion humans worldwide. Ya know the native Americans used to smoke a peace pipe as a sign of friendship, all of a sudden people are making it illegal to smoke everywhere except your own bathroom basically.

CoMMo said,
Not to be a douche or anything, but it's not like they have a shortage of people. Didn't they just recently lift the ban on having too many children? I say let em' smoke, it's helping get the population under control. THEN start the no-smoking campaigns. I mean hell 1/5 of people in the world live in China...

Then again we do have to save everybody, give every human being a chance to live and consume resources, even if our planet is being pushed beyond its limit at 7 billion humans worldwide. Ya know the native Americans used to smoke a peace pipe as a sign of friendship, all of a sudden people are making it illegal to smoke everywhere except your own bathroom basically.

Keep your kids in the pink with a smoke and a drink!

DrunkenBeard said,
I'm all for a bill that totally forbids smoking outdoors or in public spaces.

Public areas I can see, I never light up around people, that's just rude. But outdoors in general? If there's nobody around then who's to say what I can and can't do. I'd be more worried about the crap that trucks, buses, etc put out. A few of those driving past while standing outside downtown.. even as a smoker that's just nasty, and I don't hear anybody raising a fuss about that.

DrunkenBeard said,
I'm all for a bill that totally forbids smoking outdoors or in public spaces.
Of course you are. It doesn't affect you so why would you care about someone else losing the right to do something they enjoy...
While we're at it, lets close down the factories that produce toxic fumes much worse than smoking. Oh and those pesky cars too, better outlaw those to if we want to be fair to non drivers

tomcoleman said,
300million smokers but yet only a million deaths. thats pritty good odds if you smoke.
Another one of you, who doesn't know how to read/understand/use statistics. This is about people dying, not about the odds of getting a stupid toy in a happy meal. The odds should be ZERO instead of 1:299; that means nobody should be smoking. Also, that is 1 million deaths each ****ing year, which can only increase from here because 300 million are smoking for so many years.

tomcoleman said,
300million smokers but yet only a million deaths. thats pritty good odds if you smoke.

....and yet only a million deaths? That's just sick.

tomcoleman said,
300million smokers but yet only a million deaths. thats pritty good odds if you smoke.

It is a trend, then projecting (lineal):
let's say 1 / 300 = 100% casualty.
then 150/300 = 50% sick.
and 1/300 = 99% healthy.


Vista WAS NOT a mistake. It was an amazing OS I don't know what peoples problem is. People don't have the right to smoke in my view, well done bill for trying to change the world for the better. Funny I got a shocker this morning I turned on Sky News and who is on as it switches on but bill taking about vaccines.

SPEhosting said,
bill stop trying to do good deeds its fine we forgive you for vista it was a mistake but we forgive you now you dont need to do this!

Vista was a good OS.

Jaybonaut said,

Vista was a good OS.

graphically it was a step up but performance took a step back xp had better performance hence why windows 7 was much needed

Jaybonaut said,

Vista was a good OS.

Well any Windows OS is good, but Vista had major flaws to do with compatibility and some programming glitches.

SPEhosting said,
graphically it was a step up but performance took a step back xp had better performance hence why windows 7 was much needed

Windows 98 has better performance than both 7 and XP, you should use that instead.

SPEhosting said,
graphically it was a step up but performance took a step back xp had better performance hence why windows 7 was much needed

Oddly enough I find the opposite. Much faster startup, faster overall performance, faster multitasking, and definitely better at handling resources than XP ever was, never mind just a lot nicer to use overall. Guess it depends on the hardware.

SPEhosting said,
bill stop trying to do good deeds its fine we forgive you for vista it was a mistake but we forgive you now you dont need to do this!

Maybe we can forgive your poor grammar someday....but not today.

Max Norris said,

Oddly enough I find the opposite. Much faster startup, faster overall performance, faster multitasking, and definitely better at handling resources than XP ever was, never mind just a lot nicer to use overall. Guess it depends on the hardware.

Yup, Vista's use of hardware was superior to XP's, and with a modern system outperformed XP in most scenarios.

The problem with Vista was 3rd parties and old hardware. *shrug*

smooth3006 said,
bill needs to come back to microsoft, enough with this saving the world trip he is on.

It's not enough until everyone the world over gets the same opportunity at life that you have.
When people in these other countries can sit around in the middle of the day and post this kind of nonsense in forums instead of worrying about their current struggle for life, then he can be finished.

smooth3006 said,
bill needs to come back to microsoft, enough with this saving the world trip he is on.

Bill Gates has stated adamantly that he has absolutely zero desire to return to the helm at Microsoft, that it will never happen, and that the rest of his life will be about the foundation.

And for what it's worth, he IS still at Microsoft. Part time. But never again anything more. He won't be another Steve Jobs story. Largely because Gates wasn't fired by Microsoft.

Joshie said,

Bill Gates has stated adamantly that he has absolutely zero desire to return to the helm at Microsoft, that it will never happen, and that the rest of his life will be about the foundation.

And for what it's worth, he IS still at Microsoft. Part time. But never again anything more. He won't be another Steve Jobs story. Largely because Gates wasn't fired by Microsoft.

Jobs wasn't fired, contrary to popular belief. He was demoted though.

dotf said,

It's not enough until everyone the world over gets the same opportunity at life that you have.
When people in these other countries can sit around in the middle of the day and post this kind of nonsense in forums instead of worrying about their current struggle for life, then he can be finished.

+gazillion.

lexp said,
Bill should be more culturally sensitive and respect others' right to kill themselves.

I think you mis-read the title and the entire article. This has to do with people killing others, not themselves.

lexp said,
Bill should be more culturally sensitive and respect others' right to kill themselves.

its stoping lung cancer of others around smokers.. Think of how many ppl will die in china from lung cancer in a few years. and we all know the more people in the world the more people needing Windows 8!

Jaybonaut said,

I think you mis-read the title and the entire article. This has to do with people killing others, not themselves.

Passive smoker consumes thousands times less toxins than an active one, passive smoking as a threat is just the same BS as global warming, global cooling, overpopulation in the West etc. I don't buy it. Good ol' witch hunting vNext.

Yea it really is absolutely horrible there with all the smoking. It's extremely difficult to find anywhere indoors that doesn't stench of cigarettes.