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540 Mln Chinese Suffer from Secondhand Smoke

About 540 million Chinese people suffer from secondhand smoke, including 180 million youths under ages of 15.

These findings led to high-level conference, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, focusing on smoking control and implementing a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Xinhua News Agency reported.

Delegates signed a proposal at the conference for the government to set an example to the public by creating a no-smoking environment. They also called for a national law banning smoking in all public places, similar to measures that have been introduced in parts of Europe and North America.

Other statistics released at the conference show that China now has 350 million smokers, and one million Chinese die of tobacco-related diseases each year.

China has already ratified the global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and has been implementing its policies for two years. Now the country hopes to achieve a complete non-smoking indoor environment in the next three years.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco is the second leading cause of death in the world. It is currently responsible for the deaths of one in ten adults worldwide, or about 5 million deaths each year.

( December 17, 2007)

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