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Tobacco Consumption

  • Among adults (age 15+), 27.7% of the population smoke, with a significant difference between genders—52.1% of Chinese men and 2.7% of Chinese women smoke.1
  • Among youth (ages 13–15), 6.9% use tobacco (boys 11.2%; girls 2.2%).2
    • 6.4% smoke tobacco (boys 10.6%; girls 1.8%).
    • 1% use smokeless tobacco (boys 1.3%; girls 0.6%).
  • China has approximately 316 million smokers.1

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

  • 54.3% of adults are exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace, 76.3% in restaurants, and 16.4% on public transportation.1
  • 57.2% of youth (ages 13-15) are exposed to secondhand smoke inside enclosed public spaces, and 44.4% are exposed at home.2

Health Consequences

  • More than 1.5 million Chinese die from smoking-related diseases each year.3
  • If current trends continue, China's annual death toll from tobacco will reach 2 million by 2030 and 3 million by 2050.4
  • Lung cancer death rates have increased 465% in the past 30 years, for the most part due to increasing smoking rates, and these deaths make up 23% of all cancer deaths in China.5
  • Smoking causes almost 23% of all cancers in China.5
  • Chinese male smokers are almost 6 times more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than Chinese male non-smokers.6

Tobacco Industry

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of tobacco. The Chinese tobacco market is dominated by the government monopoly China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC), which holds 94 percent of the Chinese market. CNTC sold nearly 2.5 trillion cigarettes in 2015.7

FCTC Status

China ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on August 28, 2005. The treaty went into effect on January 9, 2006.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

For a summary of measures on smoke-free places, advertising and promotion, packaging and labeling, and taxation and price, download the China Tobacco Control Policy Status fact sheet. For more information visit the Tobacco Control Laws website.

1 China Adult Tobacco Survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Beijing, China; 2015.
2 Global Youth Tobacco Survey, 2014; National.
3 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013. Seattle, WA: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington; 2015.
4 Chen Z et al. Contrasting male and female trends in tobacco-attributed mortality in China: evidence from successive nationwide prospective cohort studies. Lancet 2015; 386: 1447-56.
5 China Ministry of Health. Third National Survey on Causes of Mortality [in Chinese]. Beijing, China; 2008.
6 Lin HH et al. Effects of smoking and solid-fuel use on COPD, lung cancer, and tuberculosis in China: a time-based, multiple risk factor, modeling study. Lancet. 2008; 372 (9648): 1473-1483.
7Euromonitor International; 2016.

Last updated Aug. 2016