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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Tobacco scientist uproar flares

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

08:53, December 16, 2011

A man ignores a nearby no-smoking sign in the waiting hall of Foshan Bus Station in Foshan, South China's Guangdong province. Provided to China Daily

BEIJING - Xie Jianping, the so-called tobacco academician, should be removed from the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering, anti-smoking activists urged.

"We've submitted a letter to the academic body asking them to rethink their choice because the low-tar cigarette Xie has been working on is totally pseudo science," said Xu Guihua, deputy director of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control.

"They've received the letter and said they would process it according to the rules," she told China Daily on Thursday.

After the academic body announced online on Saturday that Xie, deputy director of China National Tobacco Corp's Zhengzhou Tobacco Research Institute, who specializes in refining low-tar cigarettes, was elected to be an academician, criticism against him and the country's most prestigious academic body has not stopped.

An online writer surnamed Liu was the first to raise questions, just two hours after the announcement. His objection was later echoed by health experts and the general public, non-smokers and smokers alike, said Yang Gonghuan, head of the China Tobacco Control Office under the Chinese Center for Diseases Control and Prevention.

"I've smoked low-tar cigarettes for a few years, because I thought they do less harm to my health," said Liu Bin, 28, in Beijing. "I feel cheated to learn that they also kill."

The issue of "smoking affecting health" has long been known worldwide, and reducing the harm of cigarettes is the biggest topic facing the tobacco industry, Xie Jianping told the Zhengzhou-based Dahe Daily right after being elected to the academy.

"We are striving to minimize the health hazards to smokers while satisfying their demand for tobacco products," he said.

That statement, said Yang, seems to show Xie somewhat recognizes tobacco's health hazards.

Xie is not the first in the tobacco industry to receive such an honor.

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See at 2011-12-1660.50.3.*
The scientist has to go whether he want it or not. No mater he is a top scientist or not. To be employ by the university no scientist is allowed to research in the thing that is not good for the public.
  

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