Introduction of the China-US Partnership for Smoke-Free Workplaces

To encourage and support smoke-free workplaces, China and the United States issued a Joint Statement on the establishment of the China – United States Partnership on Smoke-free Workplaces (CUSW), a bilateral, public-private partnership on August 17, 2012 (http://gongyi.sohu.com/s2012/cusw/). A CUSW secretariat is established within the Tobacco Control Office at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CUSW secretariat is responsible for the promotion and implementation of this program.

This partnership is initiated by the U.S. and Chinese Governments but creates a whole-of-society approach to establish 100% smoke-free workplaces. Applicants need to be corporations registered in the People’s Republic of China and are willing to work towards smoke-free status.

The implementation phase lasted from August 2012 through September 2014. Partnerships were built between government and recruited corporations, which provided training and technical support for participating corporations, as needed.

To date, CUSW has recruited 285 member companies and covers about 500,000 employees in China. CUSW has organized a series of workshops and other materials to support companies implementing smoke-free policies. A handbook and accompanying toolkit provide information on the benefits of smoke-free workplaces, guidance on how to develop and implement a smoke-free policy, and methods for evaluating the policy. The toolkit includes sample signs and announcements, questionnaires for employees, and links to local cessation resources.

CUSW offered a series of one-day training workshops in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Qingdao during the implementation phase. The workshops provided presentations on:

  1. the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure;
  2. step-by-step instructions to establish and maintain a smoke-free workplace; and
  3. case studies from companies that have successfully implemented smoke-free workplace policies. The training sessions also included site visits and experience sharing.‍