Thirteen million smoking-related deaths can be avoided by 2050 if the country decides to fully implement policies recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to recently published research.
Want China Times reports
The report, published Feb. 18 on the website of the BMJ Group, a subsidiary of the British Medical Association, was conducted by researchers working in China and Canada, who used a version of the SimSmoke Tobacco Control Policy model to come up with these conclusions.
The report estimates that if China increased cigarette taxes to 75% of package price, smoking prevalence could see a reduction of 13% by 2050, while smoke-free air laws and a well-enforced marketing ban could also yield immediate results.
China will see 50 million smoking related deaths between 2015 and 2050, if the government lets the current situation continue by doing nothing, the report projected.
In 2002, China signed the WHO Framework Convention Tobacco Control to curb tobacco supply and consumption, at which time cigarette production was at 1.75 trillion per year in the country. A WHO assessment report from 2012 showed, however, that the number had actually doubled to 2.58 trillion since the FCTC was signed.
China remains the biggest tobacco producer and consumer in the world with over 300 million smokers. More than one million Chinese die from smoking-related diseases every year and 100,000 of the deaths are caused by passive smoking every year.
Local regulations banning smoking at public venues have been implemented but routinely ignored by residents, although authorities continue to press the anti-smoking campaign.
In December of last year, Chinese officials were asked to “take the lead” in complying to the ban initially introduced in 2011, prohibiting their smoking in schools, hospitals, parks, public transport vehicles and other public venues.
[Image Credit: Mike Shaheen ]