The Bill China Cannot Afford: Health Economic and Social Costs of China’s Tobacco Epidemic

14 Apr 2017

Tobacco use kills approximately 6 million people globally every year and is a significant threat to health and development. It is one of the main risk factors driving the growing epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). China is the epicentre of this epidemic, and thus lies at the heart of global efforts to stop it. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco. A staggering 44% of the world’s cigarettes are smoked in China. One million people die of tobacco-related diseases in China every year, many of them in the prime of their productive years.

This report is the fruit of this important WHO–UNDP partnership. We hope the report will trigger a conversation not only among policy-makers, Government officials and health professionals, but also among economists, academics and civil society – about the need for much stronger tobacco control policies in China, not only for improving health but also for the broader goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive economy and society.

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