Most women exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke in China

HONG KONG Tue Nov 6, 2012 5:31pm IST

A man smokes at an office in Shanghai March 3, 2009. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

A man smokes at an office in Shanghai March 3, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song/Files

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of women of reproductive age in China are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke at home and over half are exposed in the workplace, which raises the risk of complications in pregnancy, including stillbirths and infant death.

The findings, released by the World Health Organisation on Tuesday, are from a tobacco survey conducted in China in 2010 by the centres for disease control and prevention in China, the United States and the WHO.

Around 100,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke in China each year, in addition to an estimated 1 million people who die from direct tobacco consumption.

Women in rural areas of China were more affected, with almost 3 in every 4 exposed to second-hand smoke at home, compared to just over half in urban areas.

"There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Creating 100 percent smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke," said Michael O'Leary, WHO representative in China.

"Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure in reproductive-aged women can cause adverse reproductive health outcomes, such as pregnancy complications, fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, stillbirths, and infant death."

About a quarter of China's 1.3 billion people are smokers, or about as many people as there are in the United States. But the country is gradually becoming more aware of this public health problem.

The Ministry of Health warned in May that more than 3 million Chinese would die of smoking-related illnesses annually by 2050 if nothing is done to curb this harbit.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Lakhvi's Bail

Lakhvi's Bail

Pakistan court bails man accused of masterminding Mumbai attack.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Coal Unions

Coal Unions

Coal India workers threaten five-day strike, stokes output worries.  Full Article 

Space Programme

Space Programme

ISRO tests its heaviest space launch vehicle, eyes global market.  Full Article 

Peshawar attack

Peshawar Attack

Some Pakistan militants denounce school attack, amid national outrage.  Full Article 

Uber Again

Uber Again

Uber driver in Boston charged with kidnapping and rape.  Full Article 

Discounts

Discounts

Dealers offer gold discount for first time in five months.  Full Article 

"PK" in Cinemas

"PK" in Cinemas

Secret of year's "biggest" Bollywood film is its plot.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage