Smoking is the cause of around 20 percent of all adult male deaths in China since 2010, according to the United Kingdom’s Lancet medical journal, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.
The researchers on Friday warned of a “growing epidemic of premature deaths” in the world’s most populous region. Meanwhile, cigarette smoking will kill about two million Chinese in 2030, doubling the 2010 toll.
The study found that about two-thirds of young Chinese men become cigarette smokers, and most start before they are 20. Unless they stop for good, about half of them will eventually be killed by their habit, the study found.
Chinese men also smoke more than a third of the world’s cigarettes, with a large increase in urban usage.
Conversely, although the tobacco-attributed proportion is increasing in men, Chinese women now smoke far less than in previous generations.
The scientists conducted two large studies 15 years apart, with the first one published in the 1990s which involved a quarter of a million men. The second study is ongoing, and involved half a million men and women.
Smoking causes lung cancer, which is fatal, and can cause premature death from chronic conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
One of the ways to eliminate smoking consumption is price hikes, said Richard Peto, a professor at University of Oxford.
“Over the past 20 years, smoking rates have been decreasing in western countries, partly because of price increases. For China, a substantial increase in cigarette price could save tens of millions of lives,” Peto said.
Story by CCTV News