Alex Massie

Smoking To Recovery

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Good and bad news from China:

A Chinese county has rescinded a rule urging its government workers to smoke more in order to boost tax income.

The authorities in Gong'an county had told civil servants and teachers to smoke 230,000 packs of the locally-made Hubei brand each year.

Those who did not smoke enough or used brands from other provinces or overseas faced being fined or even fired. The Good news is that the Chinese recognise the contribution smokers make to the public finances; the Bad news is that they seem to be encouraging a rather stern form of protectionism. Still, you can't have everything - though it's a sad day when you can argue that the Chinese have a more sensible attitude towards sweet Lady Nicotine than we do...

[Hat-tip: Adam Smith Institute]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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