When governments of many countries are implementing bans on smoking, local government officials in a Chinese province is ordering people to smoke more cigarettes. Why? Because smoking more cigarettes of the local brand will boost the local economy via money earned from cigarette tax!
According to news reports, officials in Hubei province in Central China ordered the government officials to smoke nearly a quarter of a million packs of cigarettes. The move is aimed at boosting tax revenues and protecting local manufacturers from outside competition during the global financial crisis.
In total, government officials have been ordered to smoke 230,000 packs of Hubei-branded cigarettes worth £400,000. Even teachers in local schools are asked to smoke cigarettes and meet the issued quota. The government order also comes with a threat to fine officials who fail to meet their targets or are caught smoking cigarettes manufactured by rival brands in neighboring provinces.