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    Draconian Smoking Laws Could Save .009 Of The Chinese Population Over 40 Years
    By News Staff | February 19th 2014 04:31 AM | 8 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    If China wants to save .009 of its population by 2050, they need to implement UN tobacco control policies, including surveillance and monitoring of tobacco use prevalence, creation of smoke-free environments, treatment of tobacco dependence, tobacco consumption taxation and other price controls, enforcement of heath warnings on tobacco packages and marketing bans. 

    If the Communist party in China wants to be overthrown immediately, they will do just that, because there are hundreds of millions of smokers there, and the Chinese government is the world's largest tobacco product manufacturer. The public will put up with banning cars for commoners, banning free speech, and whatever else, but they are going to create a special sort of Hell for anyone who takes away smoking for the 50 percent of the male population that does it.

    Chinese culture has already created a lot of Hells, they don't need one more.

    Officialy, China joined the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2003, but they sign most treaties on a somewhat volunteer basis. The only reason they might do it is if they can be convinced a few million deaths will cost more for health care.


    And that becomes the trade-off; does smoker health care and an early death cost more than 13 million people living to a ripe old age and still needing a lot of health care? Reducing smoking rates by 40 percent sounds great to American academics but it may not sound great to party leaders. David T. Levy, PhD, a population scientist at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues utilized a computer simulation program called SimSmoke to model tobacco smoking prevalence, smoking-attributable death and the impact of tobacco control policies between 2015 and 2050. The researchers analyzed data including China's adult population, current and former smoking prevalence, initiation and cessation rates and past policy levels.

    Levy says that according to SimSmoke, raising taxes on tobacco products would have the greatest impact on reducing smoking rates.

    "In 2009, China raised the tax on tobacco by almost 12 percent, but the increased cost was not passed along to consumers," Levy explains. "If China raised the taxes to 75 percent of the package price and increased the price commensurately, there would be a decrease in smoking of 10 percent within three years."

    China has banned smoking on public transportation. The country has implemented weak tobacco dependence treatment programs and some advertising bansthat are weakly enforced, according to Levy. These policies do not meet the FCTC requirements, he says.

    "Some of the WHO FCTC policies will cost money to implement, but taxation policies and strong health warnings in particular would be cost effective," Levy says.


    Comments

    I guess the assumption here is that early death is the only positive out of a cessation of smoking program. As someone who is married to a native Chinese and who speaks the language, I could not agree less.

    My wife, a normal Chinese, does not even want to visit China anymore because of the proliferation of smokers she does not have to tolerate in the US and Western Europe. Smoking restrictions in other Chinese communities have not caused these massive riots that are predicted by this article.

    Smoking cessation policies have a lot of advantages for the entire population. It is only arrogance at allows Westerners to think that WE see the value in this but those damn Chinese won't. Sorry I don't buy it.

    Seems like this article is trying to sell cigarettes ... It almost sounds like the tobacco Rep was really upset people don't want to die from their products.

    Hank
    It's just the opposite. If government did not want people to die, they would obviously ban cigarettes. Cigarettes kill far more people than guns and yet they are legal. If you do not think analysts in governments that pay for health care do not want to keep deaths in a precise range in order not to have costs go up, you are incredibly naive. Cigarette companies exist because they pay far more in sin taxes than smokers cost in health care.
    Common sense laws that save millions of lives are draconian? That's a new one.

    Hank
    I agree. We should ban cars. It wouldn't be Draconian, because it is a common sense way to save a lot of lives. A lot more lives than banning smoking would save.

    China should just ban cigarettes, that passive-aggressive WHO nonsense about taxes and marketing campaigns is silly, it just creates an industry reliant on government money to do smoking awareness campaigns, like we are stuck with in America. Banning cigarettes will save lives - the number is unimportant, but if we can save even one life it's all worthwhile - and it's a Communist country, so they aren't going to notice one more way to be told how to live.
    Onus probandi. Cigarette companies design cigarettes to be addictive (http://archive.sph.harvard.edu/press-releases/archives/2005-releases/pre...) in order to extract as much money out of their customers as possible before killing them. The same cannot be said of car manufacturers. Agreed that cigarettes should be banned, but what would the outcome of that be? I think we've read that story before, and it doesn't have a happy ending.

    This does seem like an ad for cigarettes but banning them will not work since people will get them any way and it will create a black market. What would be more reasonable would be some of the same tactics that the US used in Massachusetts and California before the tobacco companies watered them down. They should spend more informing the public the true damage that tobacco does and how they use psychological manipulations to hook kids. Higher taxes to fund these or health care would also help.

    It won't work overnight but it did gradually work where it was tried and it will almost certainly work in other locations including China.

    Hank
    They should spend more informing the public the true damage that tobacco does and how they use psychological manipulations to hook kids. Higher taxes to fund these or health care would also help.
    Where did the money for those PSAs come from? Higher taxes and penalties on cigarette companies - which is exactly why the government keeps them in business.

    So we are going to tax people more, and make government more reliant on that income, while we are telling them to quit? And using the higher taxes to pay for the health care smokers need more of? You should work for the government with that grasp of economics.

    It's a little silly to claim that writing about anything stupid that tries to control behavior must be linked to being some shill for a company.