Chinese Kids Know Their Smokes

Nearly nine out of 10 Chinese children aged 5 and 6 can identify at least one cigarette brand, and roughly one out of five say they expect to smoke when they grow up.

Students posed with cigarette models made from waste paper during a campaign ahead of the World No Tobacco Day in Handan, Hebei province, in May.

Students posed with cigarette models during a campaign ahead of the World No Tobacco Day in Handan, Hebei province, in May.

Brittany Hite reports: Those are some of the breathtaking results of a recent study by Johns Hopkins University on the effects of tobacco marketing on children in low- and middle-income countries.

The survey, which questioned 396 children Jialing town in Qi County, Shanxi province, found that 71% of Chinese 5- and 6-year-olds had someone who used tobacco in their household while 86% could identify at least one cigarette brand – higher than survey counterparts in Brazil, India, Nigeria, Pakistan or Russia.

The researchers said they chose Jialing, a small town in China’s northwest, rather than a place like Beijing or Shanghai because they thought it would be representative of what a typical child in China might see. Previous surveys have foundsmoking rates to be higher in the Chinese countryside than they are in cities.

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