Smoke cigarettes or risk a fine! How crazy is this?

@owlwings (38854)
Cambridge, England
May 12, 2009 2:57am CST
I read a news item on Yahoo today that says: "The Gong'an county government in Hubei province has ordered its staff to puff their way through 230,000 packs of Hubei-produced cigarette brands a year, the Global Times said. Departments that fail to meet their targets will be fined, according to the report." Apparently they want to boost the economy by collecting the cigarette tax yet "[b]China has 350 million smokers, of whom a million die of smoking-related diseases every year. "More than half of all male doctors in China smoke, but the government is now trying harder to get them to kick the habit in order to set an example for others, state media reported recently.[/b]" Here is the link to the story (though it may only work for some and only for a while): http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20090504/thl-no-butts-china-orders-officials-to-s-aa1aa08.html Since it is well known that smoking is a major cause of cancer and heart disease, this local government directive is effectively ordering its employees to kill themselves so that the state can have more money and so that a local cigarette manufacturer can survive! What is your reaction to that?
3 people like this
7 responses
@jazzsue58 (2672)
12 May 09
Whoa! This is definitely a case of 'you couldn't make it up.' If anyone from this province came to the UK for a holiday, the shock alone would probably kill them. My own take on this, is that in the UK things have gone too far the other way. I used to enjoy going to jazz gigs, and knew where the 'safe' seating places were. Now, I can't get in the door of my local venue, cos of the 7ft deep smokescreen in front of it! (not ALL jazzmen either, before you ask) Maybe those Gong'an residents would feel at home, after all.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (38854)
• Cambridge, England
12 May 09
Seems to me that a Jazz Club without the blue haze would lack soul and atmosphere somewhat. I think it's rather surprising how so many of us have buckled under to this anti-smoking law with little more than a murmur in spite of the fact that I fully understand all the reasons and arguments for it and grudgingly accept it as a good thing. I agree that this is one story that there seems to be no valid reason to make up. My reaction to it is more or less of the "Are they on the same planet?" type!
1 person likes this
@kprofgames (3018)
• United States
25 May 09
The link is not longer available but wow. I guess I don't understand how they can force a person to do something. Smoking is a personal choice, not a manditory state of affairs. That's messed up.
@aikhong (664)
• Malaysia
14 May 09
That's really a bad thing to do, how can the government do this? It's really destroying the people and the country! Knowing that smoking is harmful to human's health, the government should stop and reduce the number of people smoking,instead of encouraging and make it a habit of the people just for the sake of earning more money. I believe there's surely lots of people will protest against this, and the government should reconsider that doing.
@anonymili (3138)
14 May 09
Good lord, that's ridiculous. I'm a smoker but to be told I HAVE to smoke by the government to keep a cig producer in business, well, that's just way beyond creepy. Well I guess different countries have different kind of governments and it sure makes me glad I was born and raised in the UK! Just shocking is all I can say about that law! Sod the law I saw and the departments who get fined, well the money isn't coming from the staff is it? It's coming from the government's own departments isn't it? All too weird!
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
14 May 09
The page from that link is gone now. I think that story is very strange...but then I find many things about that country and it's doings are very strange. They have a different culture to us, they think and behave differently to us. I think a lot of their ways are not only weird but totally anti social and disgusting.
@suzzy3 (8368)
12 May 09
Sounds a very strange thing to me,but it is an extrememly strange world.
@jwfarrimond (4474)
12 May 09
Can't really expect anything else from a totilitarian government.. Communist dictatorships have demonsrated time and time again that they care nothing about there own citizens.