BEIJING – China has taken many of our jobs, now it wants our smokers. The welcome sign is out and even if you don’t read Chinese, the message is clear; they want the smokers of the world to visit. You may be an outcast in your own country, but in China you are adored.
Most of Europe has outlawed smoking in pubs. The United States has few places left to puff without being made to feel as comfortable as Charlie Sheen on The 700 Club. So, where does the world’s smoker go when it’s vacation time? The China Tourism Board hopes they will consider China.
“Yes we are exploiting a specific market”said tourism spokesperson Nikko Ting, “Australia attracts scuba divers, Thailand attracts pedophiles, we want to attract smokers.”
Smoking visitors can enjoy their addiction without restrictions. Smoke-free zones do not exist. Smokers can spark one up in a delivery room in a hospital if they choose. Although discouraged for patients in oxygen tents, it is not prohibited. This has however led to an increase in burn victims.
“China has been attacked for denying Human Rights, but we recognize smoking as basic human right. While countries around the world continue to deny that right, China does not.” Ting explains. “Who are the real Commies now?”
In a country where 70 percent of the population smokes, China thinks it can do better. Through government funded programs, cigarette smoking in China likely will continue to grow.
Vending machines have been added to school lunch rooms and bus stops. China includes smoking education in all public schools and most children are proficient in smoking by the age of six.
Tracheotomies are now done at most tattoo parlors and piercing centers in about an hour. Digital voice box amplifiers are a popular hi-tech gadget in urban centers. Apple is expected to release the new i-larynx in early 2012 throughout China.
With events scheduled year-round, China truly is a smokers paradise. July should draw a huge number of smoking tourists when Shanghai hosts the International Smokers Olympics.
Organizers have announced the opening ceremonies will feature 1,000 smoking endangered panda bears. Denis Leary is expected to light the Olympic Zippo Torch from a cigarette originally lit from a fire on the set of Rescue Me. Tickets go on sale soon.