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Can I Smoke on Chinese Trains?

In China, it is not allowed to smoke anywhere on high speed trains or in the public areas on normal speed trains. If you really want to, do that on the platform when they stop or at the smoking area of a normal train.

Once break the rule, when the circumstances are relatively minor, the passenger will be barred from taking trains for 180 days by the China Railway Cooperation or be imposed a fine between CNY 500 - 2,000 by the police; if the smoking behavior post a threat to the public security, besides the punishments mentioned earlier, the passenger will also be given a security detention with a maximum term of 15 days by the police; and if the smoking behavior caused a fire, an emergency stop of the bullet train or any other severe consequences, the passenger will even be subjected to criminal punishments.

Where to Smoke on Chinese High Speed Trains?

In the case when the journey time on high speed train is relatively long and you really need to smoke, you can get off for a little while and have a cigarette on the platform when it stops. However, be aware that the stopover time can be really short at some small stations, averagely 2 - 3 minutes. Therefore, you’d better not go too far from your carriage and pay special attention to the broadcast of the railway station so that you can get on in time. It is also recommended you check the stopover time of each station to decide which station to have a cigarette before taking a long trip.

Smoking is banned on high speed trains.
Smoking is banned 
on high speed trains.
Smoking Area on Normal Speed Train
Smoking area at connection of
two carriages on normal trains.

Where is the Smoking Area on Normal Trains?

The smoking area is located in the connection part of two carriages. The area is a small airy space with an ashtray. It will be temporarily closed when there are passengers getting on and off.


Why Smoking is Banned on Chinese Bullet Trains?

There are 4 main reasons for why smoking is banned on Chinese high speed trains:

1. Normally, the running speed of bullet trains is between 200 km/h (124 mph) and 350 km/h (217 mph). The high running speed can bring extra difficulty to the fire rescue. Thus, when fires do happen, they are way more destructive than would otherwise be the case.

2. Currently, all types of high speed trains are equipped with smoke detectors in the toilets. All the detectors are connected to the automatic shutdown system. So that once the smoke alarms are triggered, the system will carry out emergency braking to reduce the speed or to stop the train. This may cause late arrivals or even serious accidents.

3. To reduce the wind noise and air resistance, the carriages are fully closed. The good airtightness will make the smoke diffuse inside the carriages. This will not only make other passengers feel uncomfortable, but also will trigger the detector in the toilet.

4. High speed trains are public transportations. Smoking on public transportations is not merely bad for your own health, but even worse to other passengers in the carriage.
In conclusion, smoking ban on high speed trains is for the safety and health of all the passengers.

Further Reading:
Facilities on China Trains

- Last updated on Apr. 19, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Can I Smoke on Chinese Trains?
Asked by David from EUROPE | Oct. 15, 2018 11:36Reply
Change of regulation?
A couple of weeks ago, I took a slow train and smoking was banned. The code of the train started with Y, which means it is a special tourist service. Is smoking banned in such trains or is it a new regulation against smoking in all slow trains, no matter which code?
Answers (1)
Answered by Aaron | Oct. 16, 2018 01:57

The railway company is making efforts on this issue thus smoking on more and more slow ones are also banned now. But still not sure if it means all of them.
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