Smoking is one of the most serious public health problems in China. There are 350 million smokers - some 60% men and some 3% women. China's economic development has facilitated tobacco use. A most serious trend is the rapid increase of smoking among young adults. If China is not implementing drastic measures to reduce the number of smokers, the country will have an increasing burden in premature death and rising public health costs due to tobacco related diseases. Currently tobacco kills 1.2 million Chinese each year. In the mid-1990s, tobacco use cost the Government US$ 6.5 billion annually in health-care costs alone. The photo displays a gross pathology of lung showing centrilobular emphysema characteristic of smoking.
Chen, Z. M. / Xu, Z. / Collins, R. / Li, W. X. / Peto, R. (1997): The early health effects of the emerging tobacco epidemic in China: 16-year prospective study. In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 278, 1500-1504
Liu, Bo-Qi, et al. (1998): Emerging tobacco hazards in China: 1. Retrospective proportional mortality study of one million deaths. In: British Medical Journal, Vol. 317, 1411-1422
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2003): Projections of tobacco production, consumption and trade to the year 2010. Rome
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Photo courtesy of CDC/Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.