Officials in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Tianjin Municipality and enforced local laws on tobacco control, respectively, on May 31 the 25th World No Tobacco Day. One of them was a ban on smoking in public places, and the other is designed to protect non-smokers. It was the first action against the control of time-in-law has been implemented in mainland China. Experts believe that the law on tobacco control from the two cities, the basic principle of law is to protect the rights of nonsmokers. It is as smokers?
The head of the Ministry of Health said last month the authorities consider coverage for anti-smoking advice and products with major medical insurance, including anti-smoking measures as part of a list of essential drugs. If implemented, it will be the first time the government extends its hand to help smokers. They have been demonized as selfish sources of pollution. It’s time to restore his true self as a victim of history, which were isolated artificial nicotine dependence from the normal world for too long.
Nevertheless, the minister’s words were met with skepticism. Even the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the body responsible for drawing up the principles of health insurance and a list of essential medicines, said nicotine addiction is not a disease for neurologists and smoking is still a public health problem, so that anti-smoking drug not on the list now. The logic of common opponents is much simpler: Nonsmokers have no obligation to help smokers. Nevertheless, China is currently 350 million smokers and 740 million second-hand smokers. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable and premature death, killing more than 1.2 million people in China every year – more than the number of deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis, traffic accidents and suicides combined.
And the smokers and second-hand smokers are at risk of respiratory, heart and cerebrovascular diseases caused by tobacco use. If these diseases are “appropriate medical treatment and drugs are covered by health insurance – and a causal link between tobacco consumption and these diseases are already installed – this obviously will save more money and trouble to provide anti-smoking drugs and therapies to prevent these disease forward. Statistics show 36.4 per cent of Chinese smokers, about 127.4 million people, have tried to quit in the past 12 months, 91 percent of them do it without professional medical care and 3.1 percent used an anti-smoking drugs. Only by 3 to 7 percent of them 127.4 million smokers manage to quit smoking tobacco.
Clinical test results show, more people quit smoking with the help of anti-smoking drugs. Even if it costs about 3,300 yuan ($ 524 USD) to use the drugs for one treatment course, the price is much lower than for the treatment of lung cancer and heart disease caused by smoking. The more smokers become nonsmokers, the more money we will save in medical insurance. Data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers every non-smoker spends about 20 percent less than smokers in medical expenses during his or her life. Reports from the U.S. and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 showed that smoking reduces life expectancy by about 13 to 14 years on average. Thus, the provision of treatment to smokers can save a huge loss in performance, long hidden by rapid economic growth in China.
Loss of productivity comes from sick leave, reduced working capacity due to smoking-related disease and premature death. If the first two losses is difficult to estimate, a quick look at the deaths caused by smoking, we can prove the necessity and urgency of helping smokers. About 1.2 million Chinese died from smoking in 2005, 33.8 per cent of them aged 40 to 69 years, resulting in 20 to 25 years in deaths per capita, on average, according to CCDCP. Each year, the number of deaths caused by smoking, is expected to grow to 2 million in 2020 and 3.5 million in 2030, 21.5 per cent and 43.75 per cent of the world, respectively, unless China improves its combat tobacco.
Even for the survivors, many of them are applied to chronic diseases. Take cerebrovascular diseases caused by smoking as an example. About 75 percent of patients lose their ability to work more or less, while 40 percent of them are disabled. This is even more difficult to estimate productivity losses used smokers, given the huge number of them. No matter how many jobs it provides and how much income tax and that it offers, the nature of the tobacco industry as a speculator’s leading preventable cause of death will not be changed. Therefore, when the Chinese authorities consider helping smokers quit smoking at the expense of health insurance should also transform the state tobacco industry step by step, and the strengthening of the tobacco control measures, especially those that do not allow young people to smoke. Studies show that more than 80 percent of adult smokers begin smoking at age 18 to 99 percent from its 26 years of age.
As a veteran of Chinese smokers, they are the most risky age now. More than half of Chinese smokers consume cigarettes and less than 5 yuan package. Smoking is the relationship of adult workers and peasants, 67 percent and 60 percent respectively. It is important to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and provide them with financial assistance from health insurance to help them quit smoking. This is also in line with the spirit of the basic medical insurance system in China. Of course, they can solve their free will, if they want to get treatment. Because it includes a large number of people and huge amounts of money, it can be tested in some places, first in preparation for its implementation nationwide.
China has not fulfilled its obligations, overdue to the Framework Convention of the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Control, an international treaty on tobacco control ratified by China in 2003, entered into force in China in 2006. Thus, the Chinese government is obliged to provide subsidized treatment for smokers, and medications to help them quit smoking, yet manages to create a healthy social environment in accordance with the requirements of the Framework Convention. By the time the anti-smoking medicine and treatment should be removed from the list of health insurance and a list of essential drugs, because the power must be already playing a responsible role in dissuading people to smoke.
For new smokers, Taiwan, mainland China and provides a practical solution. There, smokers have to pay extra 2 Yuan a pack of cigarettes that are going to authorities on Tobacco Control to ensure that anti-smoking medicine and treatment for smokers who want to quit smoking.