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China Daily Website

740 million second-hand smokers in China

Updated: 2013-07-02 10:17

About 740 million Chinese are exposed to second-hand smoke, Beijing Morning Post reported Tuesday.

The number of smokers in China has reached 300 million, and about 1.2 million people die due to smoking-related diseases each year, said Huang Jiefu, chairman of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, during a high-level forum on China tobacco control and healthful sustainable development in Beijing on Sunday.

China has many problems in tobacco control, said Yang Gonghuan, deputy director of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention and an expert on public health.

Yang said exposure to second-hand smoke in public places is quite common among the 740 million passive smokers, with 89 percent in restaurants, 58 percent in office buildings and 35 percent at schools, hospitals and public transportation.

Yang also attributed the difficulty to the rampant tobacco advertisements and sponsorships, and low tobacco taxes, which should be raised and become a way to control smoking.

During the forum, experts suggested that the government put more money into tobacco-control measures, including publicity and education, smoking cessation subsidies, scientific research and helping tobacco farmers get out of the business.

The forum was jointly hosted by the Chinese Academy of Governance, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Association on Tobacco Control and Peking Union Medical College, with more than 90 government officials, experts and representatives from private tobacco-control organizations.