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Letters
May 6, 1998

The Emerging Tobacco Epidemic in China—Reply

Author Affiliations
 

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(17):1346-1348. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-17-jbk0506

In Reply.—China is still in the early stages of a tobacco epidemic. Our report of a 16-year prospective study in Shanghai showed that in this particular part of China smoking was already responsible for about one fifth of deaths in adult men, with significant excess risks from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary heart disease. However, the estimated RRs for these diseases were much lower than those typically seen in Western populations, due chiefly to the short duration of cigarette smoking and relatively late age of starting to smoke, as well as relatively small numbers of cigarettes smoked by the study population. The future tobacco-related deaths will certainly be much greater in China, given the recent large increase in cigarette consumption, particularly by men.

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