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Axe corruption not cigarettes
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Luxurious cigarettes are usually used as bribes to officials and measures should be taken to curb such graft, says an article in the Beijing News.

Following is an excerpt:

Zhou Jiugeng was unlucky in the sense his corrupt deeds would never have been exposed had he not smoked luxurious cigarettes. People were happy to see the corrupt official finally punished, but the strange thing is the brand he smokes has experienced a surge in sales after his corruption was exposed online.

According to a local Nanjing newspaper, sales of the upmarket brand have increased 70 percent on the same period last year.

At more than 100 yuan per packet, it's obvious common people cannot afford to buy these cigarettes.

Buyers are usually those who want to send gifts to officials.

It confirms the folklore in China that luxurious cigarettes and wines are usually consumed by people for whom they are bought. In a word, they are used more as bribes than commodities.

The solution to this latent rule does not lie in production bans, but in the establishment of a proper monitoring system.

(China Daily March 31, 2009)

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