Chinese provincial government orders local officials to smoke more

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".

Chinese ordered to smoke more to boost economy (via We Make Money Not Art)


  1. Hi Cory,

    This is TOO funny.

    Where I work these days we are starting a “Wellness Challenge” on May 11 and one of the ways that you can get a lot of extra points for your team is to be a smoker when you start the challenge. You collect points for every day that you don’t smoke. So the joke has been that we should all start smoking and quit again for the challenge.

    Hope all is well with you — Sally T. (still married to that Marcel guy)

  2. I understand they also suspended a handful of students at the school when they caught them in the Boys’ Room not smoking.

  3. This sort of unfiltered totalitarianism really burns me up. Militant non-smokers pale in comparison. Imagine not only having to cough up the bucks for cigs, but to have your butts inspected regularly for proper branding, or they’ll nic you and throw your ash in jail. I hope the hacks who proposed this were fired, as the long term consequences to health would surely smoke the short term boost to tax revenue. I cannot emphysema this enough. We’ll all breathe easier when laws like this are stamped out. We need them like we need a hole in our necks.

  4. Aww, c’mon, give the Chinese government a break. You wake up one morning and realize that you country has 1/5th of the entire world population, and you’re supposed to feed them ALL?!? Fuck that, you say. Better get ’em all SMOKIN’.

  5. Samu, Mandarin has a word for thousand and a word for ten thousand. Then nothing for a few orders of magnitude. So this often leads to confusion when translating big numbers.

  6. “Totalitarianism. Is there anything it cannot do?”

    Laugh at itself.

    Have compassion.

    Allow for cultural innovation by providing an atmosphere in which ideas are freely exchanged.

    Bring back the millions of lives it has destroyed.

    -Just to name a few.

  7. From the 1940s tune recorded by Tex Williams, Phil Harris, and others:

    Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
    Puff, puff, puff it until you’re out of breath
    Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
    That I hate to make him wait
    But I’ve just got to have another cigarette

  8. The same country that rounded up and executed junkies now ordering the consumption of arguably the world’s most addictive drug – that is tasty.

  9. As keeper of teh internets for the day, (and since it’s Friday) I order you all to smoke! (-Just not tobacco! ;D)

  10. If you look at it from an economic perspective and take a utilitarian approach to the problem, having a population of heavy smokers actually enhances a country’s bottom line. Healthcare expenditure mainly occurs at end of life. So while it’s true that smokers consume healthcare resources at disproportionately young age, given that everyone dies they then save the exchequer money by dying young and not being old, non-productive, non-tax paying and long-term retired. Their savings also get recycled quickly back into the economy – a win for the collective!

    The PRC is approaching a the demographic time-bomb much earlier in it’s economic development than any western country. Can you doubt that they’re thinking like that?

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