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Number of Deaths Attributed to Smoking as a Percentage of Total Deaths by Age and Sex, 1990


  Males Females
Cause 35-69 70+ 35-69 70+
Lung cancer 52.0 47.1 8.1 21.4
All cancers 23.2 18.8 3.3 5.7
Vascular 15.9 14.8 4.4 4.5
Respiratory / T.B. 11.7 24.5 3.2 6.7
All other 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
All causes 13.0 12.2 2.7 3.6


Source: Source: Liu, B.Q., Peto, R., Chen, Z.M., Boreham, J., Wu,Y.P., Li, J.Y., Campbell, T.C. and Chen, J.S. (1998). Emerging tobacco hazards in China: 1. Retrospective proportional mortality study of one million deaths. British Medical Journal 317 (7170): 1411-1422. Peto, R., Chen, Z.M. and Boreham, J. (1999). Tobacco the growing epidemic. Nature Medicine 5(1): 15-17
Note: The original table was recalculated into percentages.

Almost two decades ago, smoking was already a major health problem in China. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, some 13 percent of all male deaths in 1990 were smoking-related. More than half of all deaths due to lung cancer among men age 35-69 were related to smoking.

This situation has almost certainly further deteriorated during the past two decades, as more people in China now can afford to smoke and smoking has become a sign of prosperity and modernization. Today, smoking among men is probably the most serious public health problem in China - far more serious than HIV/AIDS or SARS.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012