New research indicates one in three of all young men in China will be killed by smoking and tobacco.
Two-thirds of the young men in China start to smoke, mostly before age 20, and the study, led by researchers from Oxford University, UK, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, shows that around half of those who start smoking cigarettes as young men will eventually be killed by tobacco, unless they stop permanently.
The researchers conducted two large, nationally representative studies 15 years apart, tracking the health consequences of smoking in a large group of people in China. The first study took place in the 1990s, and involved a quarter of a million men. The second study is ongoing, and involved half a million men and women.
The results show that in China the annual number of tobacco deaths, mostly among men, had reached 1 million by 2010, and if current trends continue, it will be 2 million by 2030. Among Chinese women, however, smoking rates have plummeted and the risk of premature death from tobacco is low and falling.