Rumour on smoking

HONG KONG: Health officials are trying to quell a rumour sweeping China and Hong Kong that smoking helps prevent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, a news report said yesterday. 

People in mainland China are believed to have upped their cigarette consumption and even started smoking in some cases due to the rumour. 

The rumour appears to stem from urban myths in Guangdong, southern China, that few smokers are among the dead and stricken, the South China Morning Post reported. 

Health officials are now placing newspaper advertisements to quell the rumours. – dpa  

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