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Anti-smoking activists decry honor title for tobacco museum

CHINESE anti-tobacco activists are asking the Shanghai government to remove the "Patriotism Education Base" title from the China Tobacco Museum which they believe is misleading young students.

Today's Legal Evening News quoted a municipal official as saying they have received a petition from the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control on removing the museum of the title. The letter also said they will follow up on the issue.

Controversy erupted after the museum's website claimed it was recently awarded the title of "Patriotism Education Base" as well as the titles of "Science Education Base" and "Model Unit for Student Ethics Education."

Anti-smoking activists attending a symposium in Beijing expressed disgust and accused the museum of misleading students about cigarette smoking.

A survey made by a Fudan University professor showed that 83.1 percent of students believed smoking was very harmful to health before they visited the museum, but the number dropped to 49.2 after they visited.

The same survey also showed that 82.1 percent of the respondents said they would never smoke in the future, but the number dropped to 75 percent after they visited the museum.

Museum officials told the newspaper that the museum was awarded the title because it told visitors how the city's tobacco factory workers fought foreign invaders in 20th century. Municipal officials said they awarded the title to the museum as it met the qualification standards.


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