Provincial officials in Hubei, China have sent down orders to government employees demanding that they consume 230,000 packs of locally produced cigarettes in order to boost tax revenues from coffin-nail factories in the region.
In total, officials have been ordered to puff their way through 230,000 packs of Hubei-branded cigarettes worth £400,000...
"The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax," said Chen Nianzu, a member of the Gong'an cigarette market supervision team...
Local authorities in Gong'an county are taking the cigarette quota seriously and have established a "special taskforce" to enforce it.
According to a local newspaper account, a teacher from a village middle school said officials burst unannounced into the school at around 3pm one afternoon and started sifting through the ashtray and bins in the staff-room.
Three "non-compliant" cigarette butts were discovered by the "cigarette marketing consolidate team" which informed the teacher he had violated the related civil servants "cigarette usage rule" After some negotiation the school was spared a fine, but subjected to "public criticism" for "undisciplined practices".
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