Well, if this doesn’t scare China’s smokers out of sucking on the cancer stick, then maybe this will: Beijing wants to diminish the number of smokers by increasing the national tobacco tax to the level recommended by the World Health Organization (70% of the retail price).
Deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission Cui Li confirmed the measure a couple of days ago in line with the theme of last Saturday’s World No Tobacco Day (pictures at the end of this article): “Raise Tobacco Tax, Lower Death and Disease.” This policy is mainly aimed at protecting children from the effects of smoking. Good idea when nine of ten children in your country can name most of the popular cigarette logos.
According to SCMP:
China is the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer and consumer, with more than 300 million smokers, according to national statistics. Some 740 million people, including 180 million children, are affected by secondary smoke.
Twenty per cent of junior middle school students, aged from 13 to 15, have used tobacco at some point, according to a national survey done by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention […].
A report based on a survey carried out late last year shows that 30 per cent of current smokers are tobacco-dependent and for every 10 current student smokers, seven students tried to stop smoking in the past year, but failed to give up.
Nearly three quarters of junior middle school students on the mainland were exposed to tobacco smoke at home, public places or public transport during the seven days prior to the survey.
Some 11 per cent of students saw their teachers smoking indoors at school almost every day, and a further 10 per cent said they saw teachers smoke outdoors at school almost every day, according to the survey which is the China part of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey spearheaded by the World Health Organisation.
Among current cigarette smokers who bought cigarettes, 80 per cent were not refused because of their age, although signs saying “do not sell cigarettes to minors” are hung on walls of many stores.