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China Smoking Deaths Expected to Triple by 2050, New Study Shows

Image: China Smoking Deaths Expected to Triple by 2050, New Study Shows
Performers dance with an anti-smoking gesture, which means "I do mind", in front of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, during an event to raise awareness for new smoking regulations in Beijing, China, May 31, 2015. (Stringer/Reuters)
 

By    |   Friday, 09 Oct 2015 01:05 PM

Smoking deaths in China are expected to triple by 2050 and, during the 2010s, it is projected they will account for 20 percent of all male deaths in the country.

The Lancet, a British medical journal, reported that non-communicable diseases are considered China's No. 1 health threat, and smoking tops the list as a significant problem, particularly for men.

"Chinese men now smoke more than a third of the world's cigarettes, following a large increase in urban then rural usage. Conversely, Chinese women now smoke far less than in previous generations," according to The Lancet.

The annual number of deaths caused by tobacco in China are expected to rise from 1 million in 2010 to 3 million by 2050, unless measures are taken to reduce smoking.

Although China raised the taxes on cigarettes in May, CNN reported that the country is still one of the cheapest in the world when it comes to purchasing cigarettes. Taxes on a pack average about 26 percent of the total cost in China. According to the World Health Organization, about 33 countries have cigarette taxes of 75 percent.

In addition, China makes significant revenue from tobacco sales and taxes, which two public health experts said makes it difficult to energize efforts to reduce tobacco consumption, CNN reported.

In May, Beijing put in place what CNN called "China's toughest smoking ban," which the city also tried in 2008. The law was ignored by most businesses. The new law stops smoking in malls, restaurants, bars, and airports.

Although education is a key component of reducing smoking, a study reported by WHO said many in China don't understand the risks.

"Studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use," WHO reported. "For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38 percent of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 27 percent knew that it causes stroke."

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Smoking deaths in China are expected to triple by 2050 and, during the 2010s, it is projected they will account for 20 percent of all male deaths in the country.
china, smoking, deaths, triple, 2050
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2015-05-09
Friday, 09 Oct 2015 01:05 PM
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