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10 mln Chinese aged 15 and above smoke e-cigarettes

(People's Daily Online)    14:38, November 06, 2019


Around 10 million Chinese aged 15 and above are smoking electronic cigarettes, said Xiao Lin, a researcher from the Tobacco Control Office under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at an online talk show hosted by China's National Health Commission this Monday.

Xiao explained, according to a 2018 CDC investigation, 48.5 percent of Chinese aged 15 and above had heard of electronic cigarettes, while 5 percent had tried one. At present, around 0.9 percent of this group is using electronic cigarettes, up from 0.5 percent four years ago. Though the percentage is low, the growth in terms of how many people are actually smoking is enormous.

Statistics indicate that the younger generation is the primary user of e-cigarettes, with around 1.5 percent of people aged between 15 and 24 admitting to smoking an electronic cigarette, the highest among all age groups. 45.4 percent said they bought electronic cigarettes online.

Generally considered a "healthier" option when compared with traditional tobacco, electronic cigarettes have proven to be just as harmful. They can cause cardiovascular, lung and cerebral vascular diseases, and also trigger allergies.

Animal testing proved that electronic cigarettes could cause lung and bladder cancers. Researchers from the NYU School of Medicine exposed 40 lab rats to smoke from e-cigarettes for 54 weeks. Nine developed lung cancer, and 60 percent developed bladder cancer.

Xiao introduced that there has been no evidence to prove that electronic cigarettes can help people quit smoking, and the World Health Organization does not recommend people use them as a quitting tool.

Hu Dayi, president of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, said that it's wrong for some people to rely on electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, as they don't reduce tobacco dependence, and could even aggravate nicotine addiction.

China's State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and State Administration for Market Regulation recently issued a joint statement, requiring market entities to stop selling electronic cigarettes to juveniles from Nov. 1, and urged electronic cigarettes producers and retailers to close the websites or mobile applications selling such products. Electronic cigarettes producers, sales companies and individual sellers are also requested to withdraw online advertising.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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