Global Epidemic

China

Consumption

  • 28 percent of adults in China smoke.
  • Smoking rates are much higher among men than women; an estimated 53 percent of men and 2 percent of women smoke.
  • Among 14 year olds, 11 percent of boys and 3 percent of girls smoke.

Health Consequences

  • In China, approximately 1.3 million smokers die each year from tobacco-related diseases, and approximately 100,000 people die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • If current trends continue, China’s death toll from tobacco will reach 3.5 million per year by 2030.

Tobacco Industry

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco. The Chinese tobacco market is dominated by the government monopoly China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC). CNTC holds 97 percent of the Chinese market. CNTC sold more than 2.4 trillion cigarettes in 2011.

Illicit Trade

China is the largest source of illicit cigarettes in the world, producing an estimated 400 billion counterfeit cigarettes every year. Ninety-nine percent of the United States illicit cigarette market and up to 80 percent of the European Union’s illicit cigarette market is supplied by China.

FCTC Status

China ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on August 28, 2005 and the treaty went into effect on January 9, 2006.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

For the latest data regarding smoke-free places, advertising and promotion, packaging and labeling, and taxation and price, download the China Tobacco Control Policy Status fact sheet.

Updated: April 2014