Smoking in China
Urging doctors to quit smoking is a first step in tobacco control
On 1 March 2009, China’s health minister Chen Zu launched a campaign with the China Preventive Medicine Association to urge doctors to quit smoking. China has the highest smoking rate among male doctors worldwide. It is hoped that banning smoking indoors in medical schools and hospitals by the end of this year will put an end to this. In China more than one million people a year die from smoking related disease, and this figure will double before 2025 if current patterns continue. The main cause of death related to tobacco is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (45%), followed by lung cancer (15%).
China Daily reports that 300 000 health workers from 10 universities and 10 leading health associations have joined the campaign. In many of China’s hospitals it is a common sight to see doctors smoking in operating theatres, on wards, and in front of their patients. Although less that 5%