Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tobacco problem in China

It is no doubt that tobacco is one of the most dangerous substances for the human health. In many developed countries, anti-smoke campaign is ongoing to reduce the prevalence of smoking. For example, the US had 43.4% of the adult men smoking in 1974. However, the smokers rapidly decreased. Now, the prevalence of smoking in an adult male is only 19.5%.

Pubmed: International comparisons of trends in cigarette smoking prevalence.

WHO: Tobacco use Data by country

Nowadays, China is the biggest consumer of tobacco as a nation. A third of all cigarettes produced globally were consumed in China. Researchers said that a third of young Chinese men would be killed by smoking. Only 2.4% of Chinese women use a cigarette. But they are suffering from passive exposure to smoke. Researchers expressed the importance of a cessation of smoking for men and prevention from start smoking for women.

The Lancet: Smoking cessation for Chinese men and prevention for women

However, it may be difficult for the Chinese government to encourage citizens to quit smoking, according to the BBC. China Tobacco, the Chinese National Tobacco Corporation, provides over 7% of the annual revenue of the government. The amount of taxes gathered from tobacco buying reaches 67 billion USD in a year. It seems bitter for the government to abandon this great source of income.

The BBC: One in three young Chinese men will die from smoking, study says

On the other hand, China is not the only country to be focused on the tobacco harm.

An international comparison shows that Greece is the most fanatic tobacco-loving nation. A Greek consumes around 3,000 cigarette in a year, whereas a Chinese 1,711.

Wikipedia: List of countries by cigarette consumption per capita

In my impression, Italy is the most friendly country to smokers. As I wrote in the past, Italy is entirely covered with tobacco. I did not feel Greek people were fond of consuming tobacco so much when I visited Greece recently. Perhaps some Greek take an extraordinary amount of cigarettes.

My past entry: Vacation in Italy: extra

Actually, smoking is a problematic behavior for human. However, it is not simple to deal with this issue, especially in the political context. In China, I think that the air pollution is more influential than tobacco for the citizens’ health, so the government should put on this issue.

My past entry: Issues about smoking

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