Tobacco Use in China
Prevalence, Consequences and Control
Objective: To provide an overview of the previous study findings on tobacco use patterns and deleterious consequences on the health and economy in China, the largest producer and consumer of tobacco products in the world. Data Sources: Medline literature searches, books, and reports from 1982 to 2002. Data Synthesis: Seven categories were examined (prevalence patterns of smoking, its correlations with age and gender, smoking initiation, risk factors, health and economic consequences, knowledge of and attitudes towards tobacco among smokers and non-smokers, and suggestions on tobacco control efforts). Conclusions: The results consistently indicated high prevalence rates in China, which varied significantly with gender, age, and region. The health and ensuing economic consequences of tobacco use are enormous. The authors urge the Chinese governmental authorities that investment in tobacco control is a wise and profitable venture to counteract the effects of tobacco before a highly probable health catastrophe occurs.