If you are a smoker in Australia you are definitely feeling the pinch. Increases in taxes on cigarettes, plain packaging and an ever growing ban of places that you can legally smoke in all contributing to the smoking rate amongst adults almost halving since 1980.
While there has been a strong decline in smokers in Australia, China has not followed suit – with the males in the most populated country in the world now accounting for one third of smokers in the world. While population growth is now stagnant due to government policies, the number of male smokers aged over 60 is expected to double by 2020, and the number of smoking related deaths will triple to a staggering 3 million a year by 2050. Smoking rates amongst women however dropped sharply, with only 1% of middle aged women and 10% of older women smoking on a regular basis.
The surprising statistics, found in a study led by scientists from China’s centre for disease control and pollution are attributed to the new found prosperity in the country, before which smokers typically started at 25 and many couldn’t afford multiple cigarettes a day.
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