Chinese Primary Schools Sponsored by Tobacco Firms

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(Libra Bunda) THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: More than 100 primary schools in China are now sponsored by tobacco companies on the hunt for the next generation of smokers, according to antismoking campaigners.

The schools often bear the names of Chinese cigarette brands, such as Zhongnanhai or Liqun, over their gates and in some cases have slogans in the playground.

"Talent comes from hard work – Tobacco helps you become talented," says one slogan, in foot-high gilt letters, on the front of the Sichuan Tobacco Hope Primary School.

The school, which was built by the local tobacco company after a deadly earthquake in 2008, also bears the green leaf logo of China Tobacco, the country's all-powerful state-controlled monopoly, on its parapet.

China Tobacco is the world's largest manufacturer of tobacco products, with over 900 brands, and is owned by the Chinese government. China is the world's largest tobacco market and as many as 60 per cent of its men smoke.

Regulations to prevent smoking in public places, including schools, have been widely ignored and the World Health Organisation estimates that two million Chinese will die each year of smoking-related diseases by the end of the decade – accelerating the need to find more young smokers. » | Malcolm Moore, Shanghai and Stephen Adams | Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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