China’s tobacco use unchanged despite reduction efforts

Beijing, Dec 29 (IANS) Despite legislation and public education, China has not been able to curb tobacco use which remains the same as it was five years ago, a recent national survey found.

The Chinese Adult Tobacco Use Survey 2015 by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 27 percent of adults smoked in 2010, the same as now, but the absolute number of smokers has climbed, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.

The total smoking population in China is now 316 million, up 15 million since 2010.

Each smoker, on average, went through 15.2 cigarettes per day, compared to 14 in 2010, when the previous survey was conducted.

More than 15,000 Chinese over age 15 were surveyed for the report that was released on Monday.

Wang Yu, head of the CDC, said: “An all-out effort is urgently needed to advance the public health campaign against smoking here.”

Currently, more than half of Chinese male adults and 2.7 percent of women smoke, the survey found.

According to Jiang Yuan, deputy director of the tobacco control office of the CDC, the survey looked at tobacco control awareness among members of the public, media attitudes and second-hand smoke exposure.

On the positive side, nonsmokers suffer less passive smoke now in public indoor places, including at work, on public transportation and in homes, the report said.

In 2010, nearly 61 percent of the nonsmokers reported exposure to passive smoke in their workplaces. That figure has declined to 54 percent.

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