Sunday, July 03, 2005

Chinese Addictions

1. State-capitalist sponsored smoking: this is an addiction that the government of China has found to be profitable for its state-owned cigarette company.

"Chinese men smoke cigarettes at twice the rate U.S. men do, according to a June dispatch from Guiyang by Toronto's Globe and Mail, and that includes an estimated 60 percent of male Chinese doctors, with about 90 percent of the men believing that smoking is either not harmful or actually healthful. Implicated in these beliefs is the government, whose cigarette monopoly sells 1.8 trillion units a year (at the equivalent of about 25 cents (U.S.) a pack) and apparently disseminates its own feel-good messages about smoking (e.g., that it enhances brain function, relieves schizophrenia, reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease), despite also requiring small health warnings on the package."

From Chuck Shephard's "News of the Weird" at

2. Internet addiction, especially among adolescent males in China is now a recognized social problem.
"Chinese struggle to handle growing Internet addiction
OFFLINE: A government-owned clinic that opened in Beijing in March has two dozen nurses and doctors to care for its patients, who are mostly young men . . ."


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