If smoking could be the main reason for anyone’s talent then there shouldn’t be any fuss. But whatever the situation may be but for the Chinese kids their secret of being so intelligent is nothing else but Tobacco. This is not the case of one but many of the schools in the country. In China’s western province and its districts there are a dozen of rural villages where schools teach them the use of tobacco before anything else. All credit to the presence of China National Tobacco – a state-owned board which is responsible for running the world’s biggest cigarette making unit. They sponsor the schools and see that the kids have education, so much so that the school gates welcome you with the slogan “Genius comes from hard work – Tobacco helps you become talented “.
“They are pinning their hopes on young people taking up smoking.” says Xu Guihua, secretary-general of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, a privately funded lobbying group.
But the Anti-tobacco groups lament that efforts are full placed to ban smoking in China, including public places and law breakers would be penalized accordingly. They site the success of India in this manner where some cities have been successful on the ban of smoking in public places. While they want some stringent laws in their country they confess that the law bans tobacco advertising on television, radio and in newspapers, but don’t have clear restrictions on sales and sponsorship activities.
They site that the tobacco units have funded almost more than 100 primary schools throughout the country and revealed some of the schools named upon tobacco companies or top-selling cigarette companies. These companies have also taken up the sponsorship of 42 primary school libraries in Xinjiang and 40 in Tibet and also make valuable donations to woman’s development fund for a ” Healthy Mother’s Express” campaign.
China has almost 35% smokers of the world’s total, with staggering figures of 320 million smokers, more that half of western Europe. At the figures presented by the National Health Board around 1 million Chinese die from tobacco-related diseases every year. The industry is one of the most profitable in the country with earnings as close as US $100 billion. China had had the tobacco monopoly way back in the 1980′s when it contributed to around 10% of government revenue. Today, it is 6.7 % and growing steadily without any major decline. Some health experts have raised that there is a lot of internal lobbying in the government to make that the health consequences of smoking are not addressed.
A survey by the government in 2010 found that four in every ten male doctors light up every day. There is a proposal for setting up 60 smoke-free hospitals in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. But as far as the mindset of people goes they feel not the harm of tobacco until and unless the companies keep on continuing with the charitable work.