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Nearly 770m non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke in China: Study

By Samyuktha

New Delhi, Aug 18 (ANI): A recent tobacco usage survey has shown a steep hike in the rate of exposure to secondhand smoke among Chinese people.

The survey done by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the rate jumped from 53 percent in 2002 to about 73 percent in 2010, reports the China Daily.

More than 13,000 people over the age of 15 were surveyed during December last year through March.

According to the survey, more than 58 percent of non-smokers noticed smoking in government buildings, which ranked second in the type of buildings that had public smoking. Restaurants were in first place.

"The exposure rate in China is increasing sharply and the number is amazing," said Douglas Bettcher of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative.

The Ministry of Health announced in May that smoking will no longer be allowed inside the ministry building as of May 31.

"It's a new step toward going tobacco free in China. But the fact is the law in the country is still weak and many people are not even aware of the harm of being exposed to secondhand smoke, especially those without much education," Bettcher said.

"If no improvement is made, the deaths due to smoking in China will grow to 2 million by 2030 and it will keep increasing to 3 million in 2050," Yang Gonghuan of CDC.

"There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. If non-smoking areas are not completely separated from the smoking areas, the harm to our health will be the same," said Zhi Xiuyi of the Capital Medicine University. (ANI)

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