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Closing in on the Smoker’s Republic: World No Tobacco Day

by Fred Fortin

Today is World No Tobacco Day. The emphasis this year is on smoke-free environments.

We’ve called attention a few times to the tremendous problems confronting China when it comes to smoking. (here and here). But with the 2008 Olympics coming to Beijing as well as the ongoing implementation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that took effect last year (which China has signed), the pressure is on the government to finally get serious.

With the proliferation of China’s own research on the impact of smoking to the health of the Chinese public, as well as the effects of second-hand smoke, the government is promoting the creation of smoke-free zones, and has made a promise of ’smoke-free Games” for the upcoming Olympics.

Yet any effort to curb smoking and protect the lungs of non-smokers will be exceedingly difficult. Sixty-seven percent of all males in China smoke. Fifty-seven percent of Chinese male medical professionals smoke. And then there’s the question that’s been raised of the impact of any smoking restrictions on social stability.

How the Chinese public responds to what will probably be a minimalist and unenforceable initial set of smoking restrictions will be very instructive as to the future success — post 2008 Olympics — of any anti-smoking campaign.

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[…] See my entire post over at the World Health Care Blog. Posted in WorldHealthCareBlog, Globalization, China, Healthcare. […]

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