China, currently in a fight over Daewoo Islands sovereignty with Japan, is locked in a s severe import and export crisis. Its economy has undergone severe upheaval and China is finding ways to tackle this unceremonious situation. It has propagated an unusual method and strategy to find a way out. China is keen to increase sale of locally made cigarettes and raise revenues from there.
The actual position
China, currently, has 350 million smokers. A majority of urban smokers now smoke international brands and this is not adding suggestively to Chinese coffers. Thus, there is impetus to elevate sales of local Hubei brand. The initiation of this strategy is in Gon’gam County and all inherent villages and schools have been given a sale target. Special task forces have been constituted to ensure that the process goes on smoothly. This process will gradually suffuse whole of China and, needless to say, will result in wholesome revenue if cigarette taxes are vehemently raised. Of course, the nicotine content in these cigarettes will be slightly raised to corner more number of smokers. This is amazing that while other countries are finding ways to curb cigarettes ale, China is charting an opposite route.
Cigarettes cannot be seen in a healthy light as it causes a number of cancer types, not to mention other diseases. About 30% people involved in smoking die every year and thus, health conscious associations are ever in a tussle with cigarette encouragement. However, tobacco companies have big league backers who yield enormous lobby in the legislation houses and this is a global story. It is accordingly very hard to ban cigarettes sale. Much like casinos and liquor, cigarettes also bring in a lot of revenues as addicts generally carry the habit to their grave. Of course, cigarette sale will not make such a significant difference to Chinese economy and thus the move is almost ridiculous to a fault.
What to do
If they are hell-bent in promoting cigarette sale, they should have turned the other way. After all, electronic cigarettes are their invention and they could have made it mandatory for various Chinese counties to sell a number of electronic cigarettes. There is minimal physical harm associated with electronic cigarettes. They don’t cause any telling damage to lungs or cardiovascular functions.
They don’t contain carcinogens, barring nitrosamines in traces. They don’t undergo combustion like traditional cigarettes and the exhaled vapor is largely water vapor and flavor. With electronic cigarettes, there is infinitely less danger to the smoker and almost no danger to passive smokers. Perhaps, the cost quotient may come in the way to make purchase mandatory. Of course, there are other ways to facilitate economy and China knows better.
The above Chinese policy has found intense criticism from nationalists, not to suggest global health concerns and WHO. First of all, it is absurd to pressurize citizens into a deed. Secondly, there is a clear danger of death. Perhaps, China wants to streak out its excess population, being the world’s most populous country.