Monday, October 15, 2007

Quit smoking in Niue, and get some cash!

Are you willing to quit smoking? Don't do it for free, move to Niue and get money for it!

Yes, it is absolutely true. The government of Niue, an Polynesian island free-associated with New Zealand, has offered to pay US$1,500 dollars to each citizen that quits smoking. It is as simple as that.

The Niuean Prime Minister is convinced that paying cash to Niueans that quit smoking is cheaper than paying for their smoking-related medical services. Niue is a tiny island that lacks enough infrastructure to handle the health issues of all the patients who develop problems because of smoking. Usually, what happens is that the patients are transferred to hospitals in New Zealand (2,400 kilometers away), and the government of Niue pays for the airfare plus the medical attention that its citizen receives in that country. Moreover, the authorities in Niue have claimed that these cases are becoming more frequent, ranging from 2 to 5 transfers per week.

Smoking has become a serious issue in the tiny Pacific island. The authorities are currently working in laws that will prohibit the consumption of tobacco in any public place in Niue, just as happens in some other countries around the world, like Ireland or Norway.

There you go. Go to Niue, quit smoking, get some cash and live smoke free from then on. Sounds like a great deal, doesn't it?


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