About 13.7 million Chinese smokers would probably quit if tobacco taxes were higher, according to a report from the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control (CATC).
The CATC study, reported in Tuesday's edition of the Beijing News, suggested increasing the tax rate by about 11 percentage points, to 51 percent of the retail price.
Higher taxes would also mean the government could collect about64.9 billion yuan (about 9.5 billion U.S. dollars) more, the report said.
The report was jointly produced by experts from China's State Administration of Taxation and the University of California, Berkeley.
About 350 million people smoke in China, or almost 36 percent of the population aged above 15, and about 1 million die of smoking-related ailments annually, the report said.