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Cigarette smoking in China

Han Zao Li (Psychology Department, University of British Columbia, Prince George, Canada)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 22 June 2012



The goal of the special issue is to review current cigarette smoking trends in China; this article aims to provide an overview of the main themes of the special issue.


The instruments for data collection of the five studies in this special issue are surveys. One study used a random sampling method, one used an intercept survey method, and three used a convenience sampling method.


Highlights of the findings include: among the 677 physicians surveyed, 31.6 percent of the men and 0.9 percent of the women were current smokers; 79.2 percent of the cigarette users reported smoking on duty; 15 percent of the cigarette users smoked in front of patients. Sixty‐one percent of the physicians often advised patients to quit smoking. Two factors significantly influenced a physician's anti‐smoking frequencies: whether they were smokers themselves and whether they had received training on helping patients to quit smoking. About half of the 269 patients surveyed reported seeing someone smoking inside the hospital, and 22.3 percent had seen physicians and/or nurses smoking. Among the 758 medical students surveyed, 26.5 percent of males and 1.6 percent of females had smoked in the previous 30 days.

Practical implications

The exclusive coverage of a western journal on cigarette smoking in China can draw the attention of Chinese and western scholars in the field, as well as the attention of the Chinese Ministry of Health, to this major national problem. This attention should help to advance anti‐smoking educational campaigns in China.


This is the first special issue by a western academic journal on cigarette smoking in China, where rates are far higher than in most other parts of the world, and are a major health concern. Two studies have large sample sizes and all five studies have high response rates.



Zao Li, H. (2012), "Cigarette smoking in China", Health Education, Vol. 112 No. 4, pp. 312-318.



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