China Cigarette Order Goes Up In Smoke

From Reuters:

A county government in central China has rescinded an order which was intended to make officials smoke more to help the local economy, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Functionaries in Gongan county in rural Hubei province had been ordered to smoke at least 23,000 packs of cigarettes a year, worth nearly 4 million yuan ($586,700), to cushion government finances, according to regional media reports.

Those who failed to meet smoking targets or were caught smoking brands from other provinces would have been fined, the reports added, citing a government document issued earlier this year.

But the government has now backtracked after an uproar in the local press criticizing the policy as being harmful to health and a waste of public money.

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