Wednesday, July 19, 2006

If you thought real cigarettes were bad ...

As if genuine cigarettes weren’t bad enough, the Irish market is being flooded with the fake cigarettes. From Sunday life in UK:

... half of all illegal [cigarettes] smoked in Ulster are believed to be cheap copies [from China], even more deadly than ordinary cigarettes and containing almost three times the quantity of tar, three times more arsenic and six times the amount of lead.

Add another item to the list of potential hazards of smoking… shoddily made, highly flammable fake lighters. This article (Fake Zippo Lighters WSJ Asia, June 2, 2006) throws light on the problem of fake Zippo lighters:

On March 15, 2005, Chinese officials received a tip from an informer that a crime was being committed on the country’s east oast. Moving quickly, officials raided a factory a few days later and found the illicit goods they were looking for: 32,980 fake Zippo lighters. Zheng Shengfen, the factory’s manager, was eventually arrested, and executives and lawyers for Zippo Manufacturing Co., who had been battling Chinese counterfeiters for years, thought they had won a major victory against product piracy. When the case went to court, the judge fined Mr. Zheng the equivalent of around US $12,500 instead of putting him in jail, upsetting officials at Zippo who had been pressing hard for, and expecting, a prison sentence.