Got this interesting article from the Epoch Times, a website by Chinese dissidents about China. It’s become home to a lot of HuffingtonPost refugees who are understandably pissed off about having to use their real names to comment on HP.
I did a quick search on Epoch Times, and they have a ton of articles about smoking. I’m linking to two of them today (well, because I hate college football.). Anyway, the upper echelon of the Communist Party central committee in China has ordered public officials to stop smoking in public. Here’s the new rules:
Officials are not allowed to smoke in schools, hospitals, sports venues, on public transport or any other places where smoking is banned, or to smoke or offer cigarettes when performing official duties, the official Xinhua News said. They also cannot use public funds to buy cigarettes, and within Communist Party or government offices tobacco products cannot be sold nor adverts displayed.
This is likely a major breakthrough. For the first time, very high-level attention and support is being given to anti-tobacco efforts,” said Ray Yip, head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s China program. The foundation has been working on smoking cessation campaigns in the country.
China smokes more cigarettes than any nation on the Earth (more than 300 million Chinese smoke in a nation of 1.3 billion), and this might be the first step in a public smoking ban in that country. Don’t look for China to crack down on smoking entirely, since the cigarette industry is a state-run monopoly (U.S. Big Tobacco has tried to make inroads into China, but have been seriously rebuffed — Big Tobacco has since given more of its attention to India and Africa.)
According to Epoch Times:
Smoking, which is linked to an average annual death toll of 1.4 million people in China in recent years, is one of the greatest health threats the country faces, government statistics show. The annual number of cigarettes sold in the country increased by 50 percent to 2.52 trillion in 2012 compared with 10 years earlier, according to the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, which is overseen by health authorities.
So interesting first step to try and curb smoking in China. I’ll peruse Epoch Times from time to time to see what else they offer on the issue.