Smoking Gun

The smoking gun I’m writing about in this post is complements of American tobacco companies earning huge profits in China. Isn’t the market-economy great?

Chinese child smoking

“Antismoking advocates often complain about smoking levels in Canada but our problems pale beside those of China, where it is estimated that 300 million people already smoke and more are being encouraged to do so by Western advertising. To its credit, the Chinese government is taking steps to discourage smoking as it prepares to host the 10th World Conference on Tobacco and Health in 1997. By 2025, smoking-related disease is expected to kill 2 million Chinese a year.” Source: CMAJ-JAMC

Big Tobacco in China

Yes, smoking is a problem in China. When we go out to eat, there will usually be people smoking in restaurants.  In cities, we use the subways, and I haven’t seen or smelled anyone smoking there.

When we travel in China, we often stay in a Jinjiang Inn, a chain of reasonably priced, modern, clean hotels that serve a complimentary breakfast. There are hundreds of Jinjiang inns in most if not all of China’s major cities. This chain caters primarily to the Chinese middle class or Asian business people.  Most foreign tourists stay in more expensive, upscale hotels.  We prefer the Jinjiang Inn.

However, even when we request a smoke-free room or floor, we often will smell drifting cigarette smoke coming from other rooms.

Bob Grant talks about the Chinese smoking in his guest post.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine SagaWhen you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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2 Responses to Smoking Gun

  1. I was writing a reply and hit a wrong key. I don’t know what happened. Oh well. Smoking is a small problem compared to what China is struggling to overcome. When Mao died, China was in bad shape. Thirty-seven million had already died from failed programs. Then Deng Xiaoping stepped in and allowed a market economy into China. For the next thirty years, China focused on improving the quality of life in the cities. Recently, they have started programs to improve the quality of life in the country. The numbers are staggering. Eight hundred million people in the country and five-hundred million in the cities.

    But the suffering did not start with Mao. Prior to Mao, starting in the mid 19th century, China was attacked by Britian and France forcing China to allow opium to be sold directly to the Chinese people against the Emperors will. China’s army could not stand against the modern armed Western armies. Then came more wars taking piece of China until Japan invaded in World War II causing another thirty million Chinese to die early. When the Communists won China, it was in horrible shape. Even though some of what is going on over there looks bad, it is nothing compared to what was going on prior to the current government. The standard of living for many Chinese is better now than at any time in the country’s history and is still improving.

  2. I am sickened to hear how bad it is in China. Last time I was in Hong Kong (many years ago) it was bad. I just
    hate that the drive and greed for money is killing and hurting so many people. We are oxygen machines! Damn them. Thanks for the informative post.


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