By Jill McGivering for the BBC:
A US study has suggested that more than 80 million people in China will die in the next 25 years as a result of lung disease… The study focused on the devastating impact of smoking and the widespread practice of burning wood or coal at home for cooking and heating.
The article concludes by stating “one in three cigarettes lit in the world is smoked in China. About half of Chinese men smoke, and there is concern the next trend will be an increase in smoking amongst women too.”
Smoking remains very common in China. As reported in The Daily Evergreen,
China is the world’s largest producer of cigarettes, supplying 1.79 trillion a year… In China, 100,000 die every year from passive smoking. Roughly 300 million Chinese smokers account for one-third of the world’s smoking population.
As smoking rates in other parts of the world decrease, the China Daily reported that more Chinese are developing the habit:
According to some studies, it is estimated 35.8 percent of the people aged 15 and above are smokers in China, and the rate for males is as high as 57 percent. The number of smokers has reached 350 million at present, the largest in the world.
The smoking population also shows a trend of being younger compared with the 1980s. The average age of those starting smoking has declined from 22.4 to 19.7 years old.
As well, because there were no restrictions on smoking behavior, the passive smoke-affected population has reached 540 million in China, and among them 180 million children aged younger than 15 years old.
Each year in China, the deaths of 1.2 million people are associated with smoking. Some smoking-related chronic non-communicable diseases, such as lung cancer and hypertension, have become a main health problem because little attention has been paid to the hazards of smoking and passive smoking.
A 2007 survey of Chinese physicians reported in Medical News Today indicated that medical assistance in quitting smoking may not be that easy to find for smokers in China:
In this first-of-its kind-study, researchers found that 23 percent of 3,552 hospital-based physicians surveyed were smokers …The findings are noteworthy because physicians who smoke are significantly less likely than their nonsmoking counterparts to advise their patients to quit smoking. As a result of this survey, the China Center for Disease Control has instituted an antismoking campaign that targets physicians and medical students and promotes smoke-free hospitals.