Anti-tobacco group joins clean air crusade in Beijing ahead of Olympics

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BEIJING--The World Lung Foundation has appointed McCann Healthcare as its communications agency in China, the world's largest tobacco producer and consumer. McCann was appointed without a pitch based on the agency's work with other health-related issues involving AIDS and Hepatitis-B.

The foundation has partnered with the Beijing Patriotic Health & Culture Committee and Beijing Television to create awareness and change the behavior of the country’s tobacco-hungry population. China faces a huge tobacco epidemic as Chinese account for one out of every three cigarettes smoked in the world. The country has more than 350 million smokers, including about 50 million teens. As part of the government’s clean air crusade in Beijing, bans on smoking in public places and non-smokers’ rights are currently being formulated and made public.

The Interpublic Group of Cos.’ agency has been charged with helping the foundation reduce the level of tobacco smoke in Beijing before the 2008 Olympic Games start there Aug. 8. McCann will create a series of public service announcements on smoking bans in public places, the dangers of second-hand smoking, non-smokers' rights and other issues.

Despite the health risks for smokers in China, where nearly one million people die from smoking-related diseases annually, according to the Ministry of Health, China has done little to enforce restrictions on smoking. The government is also reluctant to lose tobacco-related revenue. China's tobacco industry generated $53.5 billion in taxes and profits last year, a 25% year-on-year increase, according to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

J&J brings terracotta warriors to Summer Olympics
BEIJING--Johnson & Johnson has partnered with the China Qin Shi Huang Terracotta Army Museum to exhibit several of the famed terracotta warriors in J&J’s Olympic pavilion during 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing this summer.

During the games, visitors to the pavilion on the Beijing Olympic Green will have a chance to see authentic Qin Shi Huang Terracotta Warrior statues and other relics in an interactive format. The warriors are part of J&J’s platform to promote living in and creating a healthier world.

J&J has been working with the museum since the late 1990s, when several strains of fungi began to affect the terracotta army. Xian-Janssen Pharmaceutical and Janssen Pharmaceutica of Belgium, both J&J companies, helped museum scientists develop anti-fungal solutions to help preserve the relics.

In 2000, J&J started a global fundraising drive to support the research and preservation of the icons. The company also established a conservation fund to promote education and scientific progress through awards, scholarships and grants.

Among China's most treasured historical possessions, the life-size clay warriors and horses date back to China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, who began work on his mausoleum after ascending to the throne in 246 BC. The underground army was discovered east of Xi'an city in Shaanxi province in 1974.

Hybrid cars are gaining awareness in China
SHANGHAI--Hybrid cars are gaining awareness in China as a way to combat pollution in the mainland, according to an online survey conducted by TNS among car owners and people who intend to buy cars.

Eight out of 10 car buyers who are aware of hybrid technology (76% of the survey’s 1,251 total respondents) said they would be ready to purchase a hybrid car if the price were the same as that of a regular gasoline-powered vehicle. Half of the respondents said they would be willing to pay a 10% premium.

“The results undeniably show huge opportunities for hybrid cars in the China market,” says Klaus Paur, the research company’s Shanghai-based automotive director for North Asia. “However, car manufacturers still have to do some homework before they can really exploit the potential in the market, that is informing better about hybrid technology, and bringing the price down.”

China is expected to become the largest auto market in the world within the next decade, putting the mainland at the forefront of the environmental challenges faced by the auto industry.

Consumers understand driving cars has a negative impact on the environment, he added, but “they expect car manufacturers to present solutions to the problem rather than limiting their own mobility.”
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