Here is something you don’t read everyday. A Chinese provincial government threatened to fine workers for not smoking enough. Too bad China doesn’t have legal and taxed brothels. Imagine the edicts then.
Workers left fuming by Chinese smoking order
May 07, 2009
Article from: Times Online
LIGHT up almost a quarter of a million cigarettes or face a fine.
It’s not a warning governments usually give to smokers, but that was the edict from China’s Gongan county to civil servants.
Concerned about a fall in its tax take as smokers turned away from locally produced cigarettes, it set a smoking target to boost consumption.
It ordered local officials to puff their way through 230,000 packs of local Hubei-produced cigarettes over the year. If they failed to meet the target, they would be fined. The aim was to boost tax revenues since the Government can impose duty on sales of cigarettes produced locally but not those from other provinces.
Locals prefer cigarettes from neighbouring Hunan province.
Newspapers criticised the policy as harmful to health, in a country where more than 350million people smoke, one million of whom die of smoking-related diseases each year.
The policy was adopted in March. When a senior Gongan official then found three Hunan cigarette butts during an inspection of a county office, he ordered a fine. The fine was scrapped but the office was issued a reprimand and the story emerged.
Some council workers described the policy as excessive, with one official saying: “The aim of this document was to stop the smoking of Hunan cigarettes.” The uproar forced the Government to retreat. It posted a notice on its website saying: “We decided to remove this edict”, adding that the matter was under study.