China’s Adult Tobacco Survey Captures a Comprehensive View of Tobacco Use in 14 CitiesPosted on by
China is the most populous country in the world, as well as the largest consumer of cigarettes. With over 300 million smokers, China has the greatest public health benefit to gain from implementing proven tobacco prevention and control strategies. In China, some public health officials have championed local municipalities to engage in tobacco prevention and control efforts; these efforts could serve as examples for surrounding areas. China CDC, working with the World Health Organization, the U.S. CDC, and other partners, used the Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS) to implement the City Adult Tobacco Survey in 14 cities (Anshan, Beijing, Changchun, Haerbin, Hangzhou, Kelamayi, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Nanchang, Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tangshan, and Tianjin). In total, these cities comprise nearly 53 million people.
The survey aimed to capture a comprehensive view of the tobacco epidemic in these cities, going beyond questions about smoking prevalence, and included questions on:
- Smokeless tobacco
- Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
- Secondhand smoke
- Tobacco economics
- Tobacco advertising, promotion, and anti-tobacco messages
- Knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of tobacco use
The main findings from the analysis of these data can provide a comprehensive understanding of the progress made, as well as the challenges that remain. For example, smoking prevalence among men in these cities ranges from approximately 33% to nearly 45%, and quit rates are low. This underscores the importance of increasing availability of proven cessation services and treatments to help smokers quit. Moreover, cigarette prices are also very low and affordable in China overall. Studies have shown that raising tobacco prices is the single most effective means of reducing tobacco use. Furthermore, in China, smoke-free policies in public places are taking root, which is expected to help reduce exposure to this known health hazard. Secondhand smoke exposure in homes and in public places is a public health concern, as there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
With this data and the other information gleaned from the survey, public health officials in China have powerful tools to help reduce the burden of tobacco-related disease and death.