Article: China has 15 million underage smokers: govt. Agence France-Presse, 2 June 2008.
Does this surprise anyone? After years of seeing the number of smokers decline in the US, coming to China was quite a shock. The prevalence of smoking here is still surprising — seldom can you go to a restaurant and not be seated next to a smoker (something of which, after my wife became pregnant, I became more and more acutely aware). According to this CBC story, lung cancer rates have risen 30 percent over the last five years (likely more a result of better medical services increasing detection rates) and there’s no end in sight. Given the well-known link between smoking in parents and children, it comes as little shock that in a country of adult smokers there are lots of adolescent smokers as well.