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Smoking in China

Current smoking prevalence in the general population in China has been decreasing in recent years. In 2000 around 30% of the population were current smokers; this decreased to 27% in 2015 and a further decrease to 25% is projected according to WHO trend estimates. Prevalence of smoking in men is high - in 2000 it was 56.5%; this decreased to 51% in 2015 and is projected to decrease to around 47% by 2025. For women the current smoking prevalence was only 3% in 2000, dropping to 2.5% in 2015 and projected to decrease to 2% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates are not age standardised, and were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust.

Read articles from China

June 13, 2024 by

Illegal vapes are flooding the market and the government is scrambling

American youth face a nicotine addiction crisis, with illegal e-cigarettes targeting children. Politicians criticized the FDA and DOJ for failing to regulate tobacco products, enabling e-cigarette companies to addict millions. A bipartisan hearing highlighted frustration over illegal vapes enticing teens with appealing flavors. The FDA's backlog of 27 million product applications led to minimal approvals. A new task force aims to combat the illegal e-cigarette market. Notably, the FDA lifted Juul Labs' marketing ban, leading to scrutiny on its re-entry. Chinese vape companies profit billions, exploiting regulatory gaps. Lawmakers intend to address these issues with upcoming legislation.

May 28, 2024 by

NYC flooded with illegal flavored vapes from China despite ban to protect kids: study

A study reveals a flood of illegal flavored e-vapes from China in NYC after their ban in 2020 to curb youth addiction. The survey by Atria identified Air Bar Disposable as a popular brand. Despite some enforcement efforts, the illicit market undermines legal vendors like Altria. Experts urge stricter enforcement statewide. Officials criticize lax regulation and hope for stronger enforcement against illegal vapes, citing health risks for young people. FDA warned Chinese firms for unauthorized products. City Hall and Gov. Hochul are investigating to address the issue. Youth e-cig use in New York decreased, but the battle against illegal vapes continues, aiming to protect public health, particularly children.

May 09, 2024 by

Will China stop supplying illegal vapes to Australia?

EMERITUS PROFESSOR SIMON CHAPMAN AND COLLEAGUES are predicting that illegal vapes will virtually disappear in Australia because the Chinese government requires “all exporters to obey the laws of the countries to which they are exporting”. A Chinese government report showed that the number of vapes leaving China for Australia fell by 93% in the first 2 months of 2024 after the disposable ban was introduced. According to Chapman, this is the ‘smoking gun’, and its “All over, red rover”. Seriously? There is so much wrong with this prediction.

February 16, 2024 by

Australia’s Vape Prohibition Replicates Drug-War Disasters

Australia's stringent anti-vaping stance has resulted in a thriving illicit market for vaping products, echoing the failures of drug bans in the past. Over 90% of Australia's 1.7 million adult vapers have turned to the illicit market due to harsh restrictions that require a nicotine prescription to vape legally. The illicit market in Australia is estimated to import 120 million unregulated vapes from China annually, with products sold openly without consumer protections. The profitability of illegal vapes has led to an intensifying turf war among organized trafficking networks, resulting in acts of violence and exploitation of marginalized recruits.

December 11, 2023 by

Lawmakers seek action against Elf Bar and other fruity e-cigarettes imported from China

House lawmakers are demanding information from federal officials on what they are doing to stop the recent influx of kid-appealing electronic cigarettes from China. Members of a new congressional committee on U.S.-China relations sent the request Thursday to Justice Department and Food and Drug Administration leaders, calling attention to “the extreme proliferation of illicit vaping products.”

December 06, 2023 by

China e-cigarette titan behind 'Elf Bar' floods the U.S. with illegal vapes

A new breed of e-cigarette has addicted teenagers and confounded regulators worldwide by offering flavors like Blue Cotton Candy and Pink Lemonade in a cheap, disposable package. The tycoon dominating this latest wave is Zhang Shengwei, 50, a veteran of China’s vape industry in the southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen. Most people have never heard of him. Zhang quietly rose over 15 years from a boutique exporter to become one of the world’s largest vape manufacturers. His main company, Heaven Gifts, now competes with industry giants Juul Labs Inc and British American Tobacco Plc (BATS.L) in the United States, the United Kingdom and across Europe.

August 25, 2023 by

E-Cigarette Awareness and Use, Among Adult Residents in Shanghai, China

The widespread popularity of e-cigarettes is considered an important public health concern. However, only some studies have investigated the prevalence of e-cigarette use in Shanghai, China. This study aimed to estimate e-cigarette awareness, prevalence, and associated factors among adults in Shanghai, China.

July 31, 2023 by

THR Advocates Applaud China's New Regulatory Move

On June 20, 2023, the Office of the State Tobacco Administration sent out a notification on the "Guidelines for Promoting the Building of Quality Assurance Systems for Exported Electronic Cigarette Products", which the key points of the guidelines include: All e-cigarettes exported from China will need to comply with local regulatory legal requirements and need to be traceable throughout their inbound and outbound transport. All Chinese exports of e-cigarettes that are investigated by authorities overseas for quality issues must be reported to the Tobacco Administration where the manufacturer is located and be subject to relevant investigations. [...]

July 29, 2023 by


Hong Kong is considering banning those born after a certain date from ever being able to purchase tobacco products, introducing plain packaging for tobacco products, increasing tobacco taxes and more. It’s all being considered as part of a wide-ranging survey from the Hong Kong Health Bureau as part of its Public Consultation on Tobacco Control Strategies, a survey that takes place between July 12-Sept. 30, 2023. Hong Kong’s government has set a goal of reducing the percentage of adults who smoke from 9.5 percent in 2021 to 7.8 percent by 2025. [...]

July 13, 2023 by

Increasing Hong Kong’s tobacco tax every year will effectively discourage smoking, says health secretary

Hong Kong’s health chief has said increasing tobacco taxes every year is an effective way to discourage smoking but has stressed that authorities plan to consult the public on the issue.

Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau made the suggestion on Thursday, a day after his bureau launched a 2½-month public consultation on anti-smoking strategies, covering 14 proposed measures ranging from increasing tobacco tax to banning people born after a certain date from buying cigarettes.


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