• June 21, 2024

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Smoking less but better

China has become the fastest-growing tobacco market, according to a story in the Worker’s Daily citing a report by Zheng Rong, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics.
This is despite the recent imposition of anti-tobacco measures, including cigarette-tax rises.
China has imposed too strict bans on tobacco smoking in more than 20 cities, though the campaign has covered less than 10 percent of the whole country.
Cigarette taxes were raised substantially in 2008 and 2015 but they did not cool demand.
Taxes now account for about 59 percent of the retail prices of cigarettes in China, but they lag behind the global average of 75 percent.
In additional, the disposable income of Chinese smokers was said to have grown by about 85 percent from 2001 to 2016, and even to have doubled among consumers of low-price products.
The incidence of smoking in China among low-income groups is higher than the incidence among high-income groups, and rural residents smoke more than do urban people.
Hu Angang, a professor with Tsinghua University, was quoted as saying that ‘the higher incidence of smoking in poverty-stricken areas and poor families is the main cause of poverty reoccurrence due to the treatment of tobacco-related diseases’.
The global experience indicated that raising taxes on tobacco could effectively reduce the use of tobacco and cut public health expenditures, Zheng said; and he called for higher cigarette prices to reduce smoking among low-income smokers.
Meanwhile, Jiang Yuan, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tobacco Control Office, said raising the tax and price of tobacco products was one way to control smoking.