Each year, some one million people die from tobacco-related diseases in China, which is home to about 300 million smokers.
"The crucial time has come for China to implement tougher tobacco control measures, which will be good for both national health and wealth," said Judith Mackay, a Hong Kong-based tobacco control expert.
The number of Chinese men who smoke has decreased three percent over the past decade, while many other countries have reported a 15 percent drop in tobacco use, said Yang Gonghuang of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
An increasing smoking rate among Chinese women, which now stands at 3 percent, is also of deep concern, she said.
"The overall impact of the deadly habit on health will become apparent in 20 years, when the nation will see a sharp rise in smoking-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, strokes and emphysema, which will result in more deaths," warned Yang.
In China, the rate of cancer, particularly lung cancer, is constantly increasing.