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China and Tobacco, 316 Million Smokers and Counting

China and Tobacco, 316 Million Smokers and Counting

Study shows that China dominates as world-leading tobacco consumer.

Most smokers in China are unaware of the most damaging health effects of tobacco and have no intention of kicking the habit, Chinese health officials say. Almost a quarter of the total population smoke, an estimated 316 million people, raising concerns as to the long–term effects on public health and the economy.

In line with global trends, smoking rates among Chinese have fallen slowly over the past 25 years, but due to China's population growth the actual number of smokers has continued to increase. Increased prosperity means cigarettes have become more affordable, while low taxes keep the cost of some brands at less than $1 a pack.

Some major cities including Beijing and Shanghai having recently moved to ban public smoking, and a national public smoking ban appeared imminent in 2016 but that has yet to materialise. In 2015, a nationwide cigarette tax increase was introduced by the government but Chinese and international health officials argue that more is needed to be done.

Posted on: 2017-08-21 16:55:43