Beijing smokers drop 200,000 in 2 years

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Smoking rates and the exposure of second-hand smoking among adults are dipping in Beijing as the number of smokers has dropped 200,000 in the past two years, according to the city’s health regulator.

Statistics showed that adults smoking rate in the city was 22.3 percent in 2016, a drop of 1.1 percentage points from 2014, said the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.

Based on figures from the city’s 6th census, Beijing now has about 3.99 million smokers, 200,000 less than the figure two years ago.

Exposure to second-hand smoking in public places also decreased by 15.7 percentage points, with the largest fall occurring in restaurants. More chronic smokers are also refraining from using tobacco as the quitting rates among adults increased by 1.9 percentage points.

The data and statistics are based on 9,372 valid questionnaires by using the Global Adult Smoking Survey conducted city-wide among 10,000 families in 16 districts.

Beijing now provides an all-round quitting service that includes professional smoking cessation clinics, individualized counseling through hotlines and short-term outpatient smoking intervention programs.

By the end of 2016, there were 70 smoking cessation clinics in the city, 29 of which provide medication therapy. From September 2015 to November 2016, the 29 clinics helped 7,722 quit smoking.

Three quitlines, including 12320, 400-808-5531, 400-888-5531, provide telephone information and advice service for smokers in need.

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