Chinese university class allows students to smoke to "study" about tobacco

Chinese university class allows students to smoke to "study" about tobacco

A university class in China has decided the best way to learn about tobacco is not from books but to use it yourself and as such, arranged for students to smoke in class for what may be called intimate knowledge.

A series of photos showing students casually lighting up cigarettes in what looks like a college classroom have been doing the rounds online for several months, according to

Obviously, it left everyone puzzled as to what is going on. As it turns out, it was a display of hands-on learning in a course on tobacco.

The controversial photos originally went viral on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, back in November of 2018.

Young students can be seen lighting cigarettes and casually smoking them, while others take their photos with smartphones and a someone, presumably a teacher, casually observes the spectacle.

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Smoking in class
A pixelated photo of some of the students smoking in class. Photo credit:
Source: UGC

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Speaking on the matter, Zhao Zhengxiong, the dean of Yunan Agricultural University, said the controversial photos were taken during a class on tobacco.

The teacher brought various brands of cigarettes into the classroom and invited the students to try them as a way to better understand tobacco, its flavours, the irritation it causes to the throat and the aftertaste it leaves in the mouth

Although Zhao emphasised that the the students were not required to smoke, most of them did it anyway.

Smoking by teens is frowned upon by Chinese regulations as is the case with most of the world that aims to protect its people against the dangers of smoking.

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Yunan Agricultural University has insisted that this sort of applied learning is different than everyday smoking, adding that safety instructions are given before every class.

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