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China Has Doubled Tobacco Production

By Author: Bernard Fowler
Total Articles: 27

The WHO recommendations are ignored in China, and it looks like tobacco manufacturing has increased almost two times in the 10 years since China signed a WHO convention to reduce the use of tobacco.

Before China signed the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003, theere made around 1.75 trillion cigarettes in China. By 2012 that number rose to 2.58 trillion annually, according to a new report under the name Tobacco Control in China from a Civil Society Perspective 2013, from the Research Center for Health Development based in Beijing.

Wang Ke’an, chief of the research center, told that while the Chinese government signed the convention and vowed to control tobacco, China has fallen behind many other signatory members, A report of 2012 says that China received only 2 out of 16 points for prohibiting smoking in such public places as hospitals and schools.

Tobacco manufacturing is a quite profitable business in China. The country won 864.9 billion yuan ($141.9 billion) in taxes in 2012 from tobacco business and handed 716.7 billion yuan to the state treasury, the equivalent of 8 percent of the national tax income.

Local governments do encourage development in the tobacco industry as a boost to the local economy. In the township of Enshi in the Hubei Province the tobacco industry got 5.1 billion yuan and is a mainstay supporting impoverished locals.

The Chinese Health Ministry made surveys in restaurants and hotels in several regions in China and discovered that only 6.1% had designated smoking areas and only 1.4% had anti-smoking signs. Besides this, most cigarette boxes have only a small health warning on them, instead of covering at least one-third of the package as it is recommended by the WHO.

"The signs are an important part of tobacco control, which would work with the legal efforts to gradually change the smoking habit," Wang said, adding that civil servants should set a good example to society in banning smoking, according to the Global Times.

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