ObjectiveTo use a computer simulation model to project the potential impact in China of tobacco control measures on smoking, as recommended by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), being fully implemented.
PopulationMales and females aged 15-74 years.
InterventionIncremental impact of more complete implementation of WHO FCTC policies simulated using SimSmoke, a Markov computer simulation model of tobacco smoking prevalence, smoking attributable deaths, and the impact of tobacco control policies. Data on China's adult population, current and former smoking prevalence, initiation and cessation rates, and past policy levels were entered into SimSmoke in order to predict past smoking rates and to project future status quo rates. The model was validated by comparing predicted smoking prevalence with smoking prevalence measured in tobacco surveys from 1996-2010.
Main outcome measuresProjected future smoking prevalence and smoking attributable deaths from 2013-50.
ResultsStatus quo tobacco policy simulations projected a decline in smoking prevalence from 51.3% in 2015 to 46.5% by 2050 in males and from 2.1% to 1.3% in females. Of the individual FCTC recommended tobacco control policies, increasing the tobacco excise tax to 75% of the retail price was projected to be the most effective, incrementally reducing current smoking compared with the status quo by 12.9% by 2050. Complete and simultaneous implementation of all FCTC policies was projected to incrementally reduce smoking by about 40% relative to the 2050 status quo levels and to prevent approximately 12.8 million smoking attributable deaths and 154 million life years lost by 2050.
ConclusionsComplete implementation of WHO FCTC recommended policies would prevent more than 12.8 million smoking attributable deaths in China by 2050. Implementation of FCTC policies would alleviate a substantial portion of the tobacco related health burden that threatens to slow China's extraordinary gains in life expectancy and prosperity.