300 million smoke; related diseases kill 1.37 M
More than 300 million people smoke in China, the world’s top producer and user of tobacco, about 740 million are exposed to second-hand smoke and about 1.37 million people die of smoking-related diseases every year, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).
Twenty-eight percent of the population over the age of 15 are smokers said Yao Hongwen, a senior official with the commission. Another 100,000 die of diseases caused by second-hand smoke.
To tackle the threat of nicotine on public health, the country will study and take related step, such as increasing the tax on tobacco and prices of tobacco products, Yao said.
The country’s tobacco tax rate is at about 40 percent, low compared to the world average. (Photo 5)