One in three young men in China will eventually be killed by tobacco unless a substantial proportion of them succeeds in quitting smoking, researchers said.
“Without rapid, committed, and widespread action to reduce smoking levels, China will face enormous numbers of premature deaths,” Reuters quoted Li Liming, a professor at the Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing who co-led a large analysis of the issue, as saying.
The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that two-thirds of young men in China start to smoke, mostly before age 20, and that unless they quit for good, about half of those who start will eventually die from their habit.
The scientists conducted two large, nationally representative studies 15 years apart, tracking the health consequences of smoking in China.
The first was in the 1990s and involved a quarter of a million men. The second study is ongoing and involves half a million men and women.
The results showed annual number of tobacco deaths in China, mostly among men, had reached a million by 2010. If current trends continue, it will be two million by 2030.
Among Chinese women, however, smoking rates have plummeted, and the risk of premature death from tobacco is low and falling, the study found.
– Contact us at [email protected]