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campaign, announced earlier this month, backfired when local media kicked up a fuss and the smoking edict has been repealed.