In a bid to do their part to save the earth from environmental hazards like pollution, Communist party officials in China have decided to kick the butt for good! Most of them being chain smokers, the party officials decided to quit smoking cigarettes altogether in order to contribute to the overall cause of bringing down China’s hazardous air pollution to manageable levels.
The oath was taken at the town hall meeting recently when Communists hailing from the Yunhe district in Cangzhou (Hebei Province) made a public vow to quit smoking altogether and get rid of their nicotine addictions in a bid to bring back blue skies to China.
As mentioned by Liu Encheng who is a member of the standing committee of the Communist Party “Quitting cigarettes is both a promise and a test of our willpower”. Another senior party member from the Yunhe region was quoted as saying “I will make my contribution to the blue skies of Yunhe! From now on, I will quit smoking.”, as he reportedly crushed a pack of cigarettes and threw it in the dustbin.
Another individual who decided to quit smoking, Song Guifu is a finance chief who had unsuccessfully tried twice to kick the habit. As Song mentioned “I have taken this decision for others, for myself [and] for the whole of society. I will gradually go from smoking a lot to smoking a little and then from smoking a little to stopping altogether. I will keep away from tobacco, step-by-step.”
The oath taken by the party members comes as a giant relief for a country which is considered to be the largest producer (almost 2 trillion cigarettes in 2011 alone) as well as consumer of tobacco in the world. The country is home to over 300 million smokers who contribute to the second major cause for air pollution in China, being second only to coal.
The country’s smoking habit has placed its inhabitants on the verge of contracting several life-threatening medical conditions. These include heart and lung disease, with over 600,000 cases of the latter arising every year. Reports have also revealed that constant smoking and the pollution caused by it can reduce a Chinese’s life expectancy by at least 5 years, thanks to the presence of an airborne particulate called PM2.5 which is associated with the medical conditions mentioned above.
Attempts to ban cigarette smoking in the country in the past did not yield positive results. While people fail to adhere to rules that prohibit them from smoking in government buildings and public spaces, anti-smoking clinics and treatment centers did not provide fruitful results as well. While most anti-smoking clinics reported an annual turnover of only 10 smokers or less, several anti-smoking treatment centers in hospitals had to be shut down after reporting poor or no show.
The Communist party officials believe that the oath they took last week would help others follow their footsteps and contribute towards eradicating China’s hazy, smoke filled skies forever. We hope the same too!