WeChat’s emoji makeover removes cigar image to help stub out smoking among minors

By Yujie XueIris Deng

The change comes years after the Beijing Tobacco Control Association initiated a campaign to remove images of smoking on social media. China has one of the world’s highest smoking rates, with about half of all men taking up the habit and about 20% of all minors having tried it. — SCMP

WeChat, the ubiquitous super app known as Weixin in mainland China, has removed the image of a cigar in a popular emoji, years after an anti-smoking group warned that it complicated the fight against tobacco use among young people.

The emoji called “commando” – showing a man wearing a helmet and sunglasses, with a lit cigar between his lips – is widely used by Weixin users to describe someone at ease or chilling. Internet giant Tencent Holdings, operator of the multipurpose social media platform, said it has removed the image of the cigar from that emoji, according to its post on microblogging site Weibo on Sunday.

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Emojis , anti-smoking


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