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June 5, 1996

Tobacco—The Growing Epidemic in China

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Oxford, England.

JAMA. 1996;275(21):1683-1684. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530450073038

Worldwide, 30 million adults died in 1990, 3 million from the effects of smoking tobacco,1-3 and the annual number of deaths from tobacco use is increasing. By about 2025, when the children of today reach middle age, some 10 million a year will die from the effects of tobacco.2 The increase is predicted to be sharpest (from 1 million in 1995 to 7 million in 2025) in developing countries, of which China is the largest and consumes the most tobacco. In early middle age, about 5% of women and 75% of men in China are occasional or daily smokers.4 Chinese men number 10% of the adults in the world, but smoke about 30% of the world's cigarettes.4 Thus far, few Chinese women smoke, except in Manchuria, but among Chinese men, cigarette smoking has recently increased substantially (1 cigarette per day in 1952,

See also p 1646.