China’s tobacco consumption accounts for 44% of the world’s total, said a recent report jointly issued by 37 organizations, including the Chinese Preventative Medicine Association and the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control.
China has seen 15 million new smokers in 5 years. As a result, it is urgent for the country to step up its efforts to control tobacco.
A nationwide adult tobacco survey issued in 2015 said that 27.7% of Chinese above the age of 15 are smokers, and the total number of smokers has reached 315 million.
According to the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint issued by the State Council, China aims to lower the proportion to 20% by 2030.
Experts believe that tobacco has become a global issue that threatens public health and brings serious consequences, and it’s a serious problem for China too. Smoking is a dangerous factor that causes major chronic non-infectious diseases, and these diseases account for 85% of the total deaths in China.
Though progress has been made, China has a long way to go before it can reach its goals set in the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint. It will be unaffordable for the country to pay for the economic and social losses if it doesn’t speed up the process of tobacco control.
Experts have called on the country to pass legislation to establish a smoke-free country and comprehensively ban public smoking. In addition, the experts believe that China should reduce tobacco advertisements, increase tobacco tax, and make smoking cessation a basic public health service.