China smoking deaths could triple by 2030, report warns

January 7, 2011 by Fran Wang

China is failing to deliver on pledges to help its 300 million smokers kick the habit, according to health experts who warned of a sharp rise in tobacco-linked deaths if strong steps are not taken.

By 2030, more than 3.5 million Chinese could die from smoking-related illnesses each year, compared with 1.2 million in 2005, a joint report by Chinese and foreign medical experts said.

The report, " and the Future of China", was officially released on Thursday and said China would almost certainly miss a January 9 deadline to impose an indoor ban on smoking.

China, the world's largest tobacco producer and consumer, pledged to enact the ban when it became a party to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) five years ago.

"China's score remains low in terms of its implementation of tobacco control and FCTC obligations. China significantly lags behind in its implementation of the FCTC's requirements," the report said.

The report was sponsored by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite its pledge, no such indoor has been put in place and in continue to light up freely in restaurants and office buildings.

Tobacco is the country's top killer, and smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke result in a huge medical and social cost, the report said.

" and labour losses caused by smoking are increasing year by year and at an ever-faster rate," the report said.

Smoking is deeply ingrained in Chinese society and widely accepted, with the offering of cigarette a common gesture of greeting.

As a result, the report said, an estimated 738 million Chinese are exposed to second-hand smoke, including 182 million children.

Government agencies are the largest buyer of high-grade cigarettes, which are often given as official gifts, sometimes as bribes, according to the report.

It singled out the Chinese cigarette industry for particular blame, saying it had seriously undermined anti-smoking efforts and was a key barrier to effective tobacco controls, it said.

"The tobacco industry has become the largest 'health-hazard' industry," said the report.

"Although it is a major taxpayer, the industry is generating a much greater social burden."

China's tobacco monopoly acts as the lead entity in implementing the tobacco control framework, which effectively allows it to impede adoption of anti-smoking policies and laws, it added.

The report called for the establishment of a high-level tobacco control bureau to implement rigorous anti-smoking activities and for the government to discourage smoking by hiking cigarette taxes and other market measures.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Moderate coffee drinking 'more likely to benefit health than to harm it', say experts

November 22, 2017
Drinking coffee is "more likely to benefit health than to harm it" for a range of health outcomes, say researchers in The BMJ today.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
"Although it is a major taxpayer, the industry is generating a much greater social burden."

America has the same paradox. A significant portion of the economy and government revenue comes from the trade of raising poison.

Ironically, progressives want population decrease, but usually support things like alcohol and tobacco, etc.

Imagine if all the tobacco farmers instead grew food crops. We could feed every person on the planet easily.

We'd even have excess for all the fat people and all the atheletes who waste thousands of calories by burning it off, etc.

Of course, governments can't tax food $3 per ounce the way they do cigarettes, so without the tax revenues from these legal poisons, the U.S. would go broke even faster than it already has. China has the same problem.

Anyway, if you want to end world hunger, ban tobacco and grow more food instead.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
I'll bet that a new ultra-luxury airline, Financial Fantasty Flights, dedicated around routes to/from the US and China, has already been incorporated by the Trial Lawyers Ass. A few of them aren't billionaires yet, and the lottery is still wide open there.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.