The Asia-Pacific Journal reported, “Following Chinese economic reforms of the 1980s, U.S. consumer goods companies were increasingly drawn to China. American companies entered the country by forming joint ventures with a Chinese company or government agency. Early participants included such giants as H. J. Heinz, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, Coca-Cola, American Express, American Motors, AMF, Inc., General Foods, Beatrice, Gillette, Pepsi-Cola, Eastman Kodak, AT&T, Nabisco, and Bell South.”
In 1970, China produced 785-thouisand tons of tobacco. By 1990 that number more than tripled to more than 2.6-million tons. With an estimated 320-million cigarette smokers in China today, annual consumption of cigarettes by each smoker would be about 240 packs. – Tobacco in the People’s Republic of China
I know firsthand how evil addictive tobacco is. I witnessed a father-in-law, my brother, a neighbor, an aunt, and my father die early from the ravages of tobacco.
The last few years of my father’s life, he wore a breathing mask attached to a tank of oxygen. His freedom was limited to the fifty-foot hose connected to that tank.
- Approximately one million deaths every year in China are caused by tobacco – around one in six of all such deaths worldwide.
- Approximately 100,000 people die as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke each year.
- In other words, someone in China dies approximately every 30 seconds because of tobacco use; or around 3,000 people every day.
- If the prevalence of tobacco use in China is not reduced, the number of tobacco-related deaths every year in China will increase to 3 million by 2050.3
China’s central government is sort of attempting to end tobacco use in China. China’s 12th Five-Year Plan calls for smoke-free public places as part of the major national goal to increase life expectancy. The “China Report on the Health Hazards of Smoking”, released by the Ministry of Health in May, 2012, outlines the hazards of tobacco use, states the health consequences of second-hand smoke, and emphasizes the importance of smoking cessation.
Part 2 Continued on March 29, 2017
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