In China, more than a million people die every year from tobacco-related diseases. If this trend continues, the number will triple by 2050. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged China to implement a nationwide anti-tobacco law to curb this alarming increase in the number of deaths from tobacco-related diseases.
The WHO said, "A strong national law against tobacco would also protect 1.3 billion Chinese citizens from the harm of direct and passive smoking."
Bernhard Schwartlander, WHO representative in China, said, "China's addiction with tobacco is taking a toll on its health, society and economy. And Chinese smokers are not only harming themselves but also harming their friends, families and all those around them. The ratios of exposure to second hand smoke are extremely high in the country, with devastating consequences for those affected."
A previous study suggests that one out of three Chinese people, less than 20 years of age, runs the risk of premature death if they do not quit smoking. Beijing has already implemented an anti-smoking law, and the harshest so far that bans smoking in indoor spaces like restaurants.
Xiaofeng Liang from the Chinese Disease Control and Prevention Centre (CDC) said, "The law in Beijing is an example for the rest of China. Despite other anti-smoking policies being implemented in other Chinese cities they have not been applied properly. We need tougher laws, which apply effectively and massive campaigns to educate the population."