Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Annals of Chinese consumerism

An example of consumerism gone amuck. The Chinese are encouraging citizens to take up smoking to stimulate the economy...

In central China, officials have been ordered by the government to smoke approximately a quarter million packs of cigarettes in a year or else they might be slapped with fines. According to a news report on Monday, the staff of Gong'an county in Hubei province of central China are reportedly ordered by the authority to smoke 230,000 packs of local made cigarettes annually or else they will be fined. The newspaper, Global Times, has reported that this measure has been taken by the county in an attempt to promote the local brand such as Huanghelou, which are under severe pressure from competitors in neighboring Hunan province. 
Notably, China is the most smoke-filled country in this world and its 350 million smokers are just a thrid of the world’s total. Sixty per cent of all males over 15 and only 4 per cent of all women smoke regularly. Statistics says, every year 5 million people across the world die of smoking-related diseases and among them about 1.2 million people are Chinese.

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