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    State tobacco firms' profits stand in way of China smoking ban

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    China's health ministry has finally banned smoking in hospitals - seen as long overdue - but a promised national ban on smoking in public places has yet to become reality because the health ministry is up against state-run tobacco firms which chalk up billions of dollars in profits.

    Some 300 million Chinese smokers consume a third of the world's cigarettes, while a million of them die each year from smoking-related illnesses.

    Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan tracked down some of China's smokers. (May 31, 2010)