Thomas3.20.2010

How They do it in China!

Blog Post created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Sep 21, 2011
In dozens of rural villages in China’s western provinces, one of the first things primary school kids learn is what made their education possible: tobacco. “On the gates of these schools, you’ll see slogans that say ‘Genius comes from hard work -- Tobacco helps you become talented,’” said Xu Guihua, secretary general of the privately funded lobby group Chinese Association on Tobacco Control. The schools are sponsored by local units of China’s government-owned monopoly cigarette maker. “They are pinning their hopes on young people taking up smoking.” Anti-tobacco groups say efforts to reduce sales in the world’s largest cigarette consumer, such as a ban on smoking in public places introduced in May, have been hampered by light penalties, a lack of education about the dangers of smoking and the fact that the regulator, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, also runs the world’s biggest cigarette maker, China National Tobacco Corp. China has more than 320 million smokers, a third of the world’s total, and about 1 million Chinese die from tobacco- related illnesses every year. Reducing mortality in the country from cardiovascular diseases, for which smoking is a main risk factor, by 1 percent a year over the three decades to 2040 could generate economic value equal to 68 percent of China’s 2010 real gross domestic product, or $10.7 trillion, according to a World Bank report published in July. “Despite the strong will of the government to implement smoking control policies,” the volume of cigarettes sold in China is expected to keep rising from 2011 to 2015, London-based researcher Euromonitor International said in a July report. It forecasts China’s tobacco market will grow at an average 14 percent a year to hit 1.8 trillion yuan in retail sales in 2015. Read more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-20/china-endorsing-tobacco-in-schools-adds-to-10-trillion-gdp-cost.html

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