Beijing claims 'greedy' foreigners are conspiring to encourage Chinese to smoke. Official media yesterday accused foreign governments and unidentified overseas firms of dumping low-cost cigarettes in China in a scheme to profit from the country's 350 million smokers and attract younger customers. China Daily urged readers to beware of 'foreign cigarettes', adding that authorities must take forceful measures if necessary to discourage the habit. 'It is inhumane for foreign cigarette dealers to dump immense amounts of nicotine into other countries - a dirty trick customarily played by developed countries on developing ones,' the newspaper said. Foreign cigarettes account for three per cent of China's tobacco market, by official estimate, while the Government remains the world's largest cigarette maker. In a commentary, the state press accused Western nations of 'making even greater efforts to encourage cigarette exports' to China while attempting to curb smoking at home. 'Now they have cast greedy eyes on China,' the newspaper said. 'It is no exaggeration that advertisements for foreign brand cigarettes can be seen everywhere in China.' Beijing imposes a 260 per cent tariff on cigarette imports. Tobacco advertising is forbidden under a 1995 law, although foreign and domestic cigarette companies have been permitted to sponsor televised sporting events.