The Chinese Communist Party’s central discipline watchdog is mounting a campaign to ban government officials from purchasing cigarettes with public funds, state media reported. The campaign will be conducted by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCD) in cooperation wiht the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control (CACT). The campaign is in part a reaction to several public scandals, in particular the case of Zhou Jiugeng, former director of a real estate management bureau in Nanjing, who was named the "super-expensive cigarette director" for his preference for US$22 packs of Nanjing 95 Imperial cigarettes. He was subsequently removed from his post for embezzlement. Another incident saw a county-level government in Hubei province order officials to smoke 230,000 packs of cigarettes a year in order to support the local tobacco industry. The order was later rescinded. Given the role packs of cigarettes play in gift-giving and common hospitality, the new policy may face an uphill battle.
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