Saturday, September 10, 2005

Smoking in China

"People often ascribe the inability to quit smoking to a weak will. In reality, it is well known that great men smoked, like Churchill, Mao Zedong, etc. The smokers all around us now are also people of outstanding character. They have great determination and strength. The courage they show in the face of unforseen events – a courage that many nonsmokers are unable to muster – is unforgettable".

From an essay on a tobacco information web site run by the Chinese government. The state monopoly on cigarettes in China provides 10 percent of government revenue. The Chinese buy 1.8 trillion cigarettes a year - about a third of the world total (quoted in Harper’s magazine, Sept 2005).

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