GLEN Smith, chairman of the Children's Research Unit, recently has been conducting research into children's smoking habits in Hong Kong. Given that he was commissioned to do so by the Tobacco Institute for Hong Kong, or the Society of Cancer Peddlers as it is known round here, readers will not be surprised to learn that he found a low rate (4.22 per cent) of children claiming to have smoked and no link at all between advertising of burning coffin nails and child smoking habits. Mr Smith is an interesting chap. He frequently pops up in countries where the debate on banning tobacco advertising is raging. He did so in Australia 1987, and he did again in New Zealand, peddling a similar line to the one he is currently spouting here. He does not cite a higher degree awarded for research and, according to a search of one medical database by Professor Anthony Hedley of the Community Health Department of Hong Kong University, he has only one paper published in a scientific journal. Mr Smith attacked the research of Prof Hedley, saying the professor was biased and had made methodological errors. The heart of the debate is about where children should be questioned - in schools as Prof Hedley has been doing in different places in Hong Kong since 1989, or in the home as Mr Smith has done in Hong Kong. Not surprisingly, the survey carried out in the home produced a far lower rate of reports of forbidden behaviour than anonymous surveys in school. Prof Hedley says his survey asks questions about respiratory health before questions on smoking and the answers produce clear correlations which help to give confidence in assessing the accuracy of his results. 'If child smoking was as low as Mr Smith says, the tobacco industry in Hong Kong would be in a panic. It would be a dying industry in more ways than one,' the professor said. 'The tobacco industry has to get them young because very few people start smoking after age 20, and their customers are dying all the time.' No show ATTRACTING all the attention at the Cable and Satellite Asia show was a stand from the 'artistic' Penthouse International Channel. According to our spy, the stand was besieged by interested viewers of the porno promo videos which apparently make Wharf's sleazy Playboy Channel seem seriously tame in comparison. Unfortunately for the marketing boys on the stand, the inquiries were all about where punters should point their satellite dishes to which the answer is currently 'thin air' as Penthouse has yet to find an Asian distributor. Given the strong content it may be a long search. Perhaps they should give Robert Chua of China Entertainment TV a call. Robert doesn't have any sex on his channel at the moment in order to keep China happy (sex is probably seen as a decadent Western invention). A jubilant Mr Chua called us shortly after his $230 million deal with Lippo, MUI and International Family Entertainment to sell most of CETV. He wanted to make a small point about the location of CETV satellite Apstar1 - 13888. 'Say it in Cantonese,' he cackled - 'yat saam baat' - it's like saying you'll be rich for life.' Street talk SEA Ranch-based political analyst Peter Harris was intrigued by this little advert. 'Is it a front for the white slave trade,' he wondered, 'or are we supposed to believe that 'outside Prince Edward MTR Station' is a good place for an English lesson?' No, no, no. The lesson is 'outside Prince Edward' and the MTR station's salary is very attractive. Plastic bashing FEEDBACK on Park N Shop's super giveaway Visa card continues to flood in. The most serious complaint comes from Mrs Doris Cheung, of Kowloon Tong. 'I didn't think about the annual fee because something else was bothering me,'. She moved to her current address in July, notified PNS and her bills for her PNS Card started to arrive. But her PNS ComPass Visa was sent to her old address. Fortunately for Mr Cheung, she is still having mail re-directed by the post office and it was forwarded before delivery. 'What would happen if I hadn't paid for re-direction?' she said. Richard Gibson raises another point. Many people in Hong Kong employ domestic helpers. Often they will have been provided with the family PNS card in their name to buy the daily bread and so forth. 'Given a Visa card that can be used to spend all over the place in jewellers, airline offices . . ,' said Mr Gibson. Lai See has a very strange feeling that the issues we have raised are only the tip of the iceberg and any day now, the ComPass Card is going to be the source of some very bad publicity indeed for PNS. His 15 minutes ANOTHER alarming example of 'Jones Syndrome', the condition first detected in G.W. Jones, Companies Registrar, whose pictures dominates the registry's annual report. The latest casualty is Nick Etches, modest and mild-mannered president of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants. The latest edition of Hong Kong Accountant' has eight pictures of Nick in the first eight pages of the bean-counters magazine. It wouldn't be hard to find a reason why he could get carried away. One of the pictures shows him totally surrounded by journalists after a luncheon speech to Rotarians. Bet the president of the UK society doesn't get that kind of attention.