March 05, 2009

China’s anti-smoking campaign against smoker doctors

In its efforts to curb rising smoking rate in China, the Chinese government has urged the doctors to shun the habit in the first place for making the general public follow suit.

China Preventive Medicine Association (CPMA) launched a campaign Sunday to discourage the habit among the medicos.

Health Minister Chen Zhu said, “Medical workers and those who take the decisions regarding people's health should take the lead to quit smoking and completely ban indoor smoking to set a good example for their patients and others who look up to them.”

“International experience has it that when doctors give up smoking, it encourages a lot of others to kick the habit,” he added.

About 56.8 percent of male doctors are smokers in china, making it the highest rate in the world, China Preventive Medicine Association confirmed.

It is crucial to discourage the habit among doctors to contain the overall smoking rate in China, which is the largest cigarette producer in the world with a market of 320 million smokers.

Chinese are also quite heavy smokers as the cigarettes made in the country are among the cheapest in the world.

Zhu lamented that despite having conducted smoke-free Olympics last year, China still fails to encourage citizens to kick the habit. He blames it on the lack of strict legislations and awareness campaigns.

10 leading health associations and 10 universities have joined CPMA to eradicate the smoking habit among medical staff.

They aim to make medical schools, hospitals and associations "completely smoke-free" this year. The institute already has been offering bonus incentive to employees who do not smoke.

Wang Longde, head of the CPMA, who is also a deputy to the upcoming National People's Congress, said that he would propose to move the draft legislation for anti-tobacco movements.

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