BEIJING (AFP) - China is considering a ban on barbecues to help reduce air pollution in built-up areas after heavy smog recently choked large swathes of the country, state media reported on Wednesday.
The country's environmental watchdog has issued draft guidelines advising major cities to adopt legislation banning "barbecue-related activities", official news agency Xinhua said, risking the ire of street food-loving locals.
The move comes after extreme pollution last month choked Beijing and large areas of northern China, prompting health fears and sparking an angry reaction from residents, many of whom donned face masks.
The pollution in the capital was blamed on emissions from coal-burning in power stations and exhaust fumes from vehicles on choked streets, with Beijing ordering the emergency closure of factories.
But Xinhua said the Ministry of Environmental Protection earlier this month issued draft guidelines that also branded barbecues part of the problem.
It cited an anonymous official as calling on the public to abstain from outdoor grilling in favour of a more environmentally-friendly way of life.