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04 April 2008

350 Million Lighting A Cigarette Each

On any other day, seeing a Spitlander light up a cigarette raises no eyebrow.

But when it's the Deputy Sports Minister addressing Ch1na's legislators that Beijing Olympics will inspire the Ch1nese people towards a more healthy lifestyle, only to be lighting up a stick minutes later is hypocrisy at the ultimate level.

Looks like it's a case of you trying to take the cigarette out of the Spitlander only to find the Spitlander still attached and dangling from it.

With 350 million of them, I don't see a clean up anytime soon and besides, given that the tobacco factories are mostly, if not all state-owned, do you see them give up this lucrative source of revenue so easily? What about the tobacco farmers, the gahmen also need to take their livelihood into consideration should one fine day, if ever, there is a ban on tobacco like that of the infamous poppy?

It may be SGD 11.00 per pack back home but over here a pack of duty-paid cigarette can be as affordable as RMB 4.00 (SGD 0.80). With such a low barrier of entry, even kids can afford them with their pocket allowances.

"BEIJING (AP) — Cui Dalin, Ch1na’s deputy sports minister, told legislators that the Be1jing Olympics would inspire Ch1nese to live healthier lives. 

Then he stepped out into a nonsmoking hallway — and lit a cigarette..."
 
- Audra Ang, Associated Press Writer, 30 Mar 2008
.

From a business sense, there is no product better than cigarette where people smoke when economy is good and smoke, perhaps even more, when economy is bad. Tobacco just can't lose.

In just recently, there was an exposé uncovering that tobacco companies have been funding lung cancer research which totally throw all credibility of whatever results out the window.

Looks like tobacco will be here to stay for a longer more. In the mean time, I am just going to step outside for a while to sio hoon kee.....

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