In what has to be the best news story I have seen in years, the Chinese government is actually forcing people to smoke more to keep the economy afloat of the world’s economic crisis. Never mind health, you will smoke for China! They have gone so far as to actually nominate particular Chinese brands and force people such as Teachers and Government staff to smoke a set amount per month. It has been reported that – unbelievably – a task force has even raided the ashtrays of village schools to ensure the cigarette butts present were officially endorsed brands!

Ah god, I love this country.

China has one of the worlds largest (if not the largest) smoking populations, coming at at something like 350 million smokers. The official death toll from smoking related illnesses is around 1 million per year – but like everything else in China, the actual numbers are probably ten times larger.

Gift cigarettes given at a wedding.

Gift cigarettes given at a wedding.

Cigarettes are an important part of society, and it’s rare to see a smoking man without one hanging out of his mouth – even when riding a motorcycle. They’re also commonly given as gifts to the guests at weddings.

As such a massive source of tax revenue, despite anti-smoking efforts, it’s unlikely to change any time soon (aka ever).


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