A couple in rural Hunan province held an unconventional wedding on Tuesday where smoking and giving cigarettes as gifts were prohibited.
The event was held in the home of the bridegroom Li Daliang, 33, in Huanghua village in Liuyang, and guests were presented with no-smoking armbands on arrival.
At the wedding, there were no-smoking signs on all the tables. The couple also refused to give cigarettes as gifts.
According to local custom, the host is expected to give cigarettes and palm nuts to visitors in return for cash gifts for the new couple. However, Li decided to give other things including Xinjiang jujube, toothpaste and publicity materials advocating smoking controls.
Any guests who smoked during the wedding were reminded of the ban by volunteers.
A former smoker, Li gave up the habit after attending a lecture about the harmful effects on himself and others.
For the past five years, he has worked full-time work to support smoking controls and is now the deputy head of the Yinxing smoking control volunteer team in Yunnan province, which is attached to an NGO.
Li said he received strong opposition from elders and other family members when he put forward the idea of holding a tobacco-free wedding. Li repeatedly explained the harmful effects of smoking until his family agreed.
”We didn"t give cigarettes and nobody thought us rude,” he said. ”We also plan to hold another smoke-free wedding in my wife"s home in Kunming.”