China Fines Non-Smokers

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on May 10, 2009

Here’s an interesting twist on smoking and fines: in Gongan county of China’s Hubei province, local authorities have imposed fines on civil servants who don’t smoke their fair share of locally produced cigarettes. Apparently minimum consumption quotas were allocated. Departments which did not meet their allocated consumption were to have public funding withheld. Why the pro-nicotine campaign? Apparently residents were smoking brands from other parts of China and the government owned local cigarette maker was suffering. Departments tasked with puffing the local gaspers include the police, women’s association, arts council…though not sure if the health service and hospitals were required to take part. According to China Digital Times, the “Thank you for Smoking” campaign, announced earlier this month, backfired when local media kicked up a fuss and the smoking edict has been repealed.

Reader Comments

Steven

May 10, 2009 1:41 PM

This case shows how imformation about China is twisted by western media. No any smoking compain in that place at all. Other than the local protection, nothing else. That authority simply forced local gov departments to use local produced cigarretts since they want to protect local brand to generate local revenue, but not force people to smoke. That's huge difference. No chinese are saying they are forcing people to smoke. I am wondering if these western journalists understand Chinese characters. When the information was spreat on Chinese forums, the county gov gave up.

car

May 13, 2009 5:43 PM

"I am wondering if these western journalists understand Chinese characters. "

I doubt few, if any of of the Western journalists are proficient in Chinese language, especially written language.

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