Majority of China’s reproductive-aged women suffer from passive smoking

November 7, 2012

BEIJING- More than half of women aged 15 to 49 in China are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

Over half of reproductive-aged women suffer from passive smoking in the workplace, according to a survey jointly conducted by WHO, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and its U.S. counterpart.

The percentage of women suffering from second-hand smoke at home is nearly 75 percent in rural areas, compared to just above 50 percent in urban areas, the survey showed.

Statistics also indicated that China topped a list of 14 developing countries, including India and Brazil, in terms of the percentage of its reproductive-aged women suffering from passive-smoking.

“Second-hand smoke exposure in reproductive-aged women can cause adverse reproductive health outcomes, such as pregnancy complications, fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, stillbirths, and infant death,” Dr Michael O’Leary, WHO representative in China, said.

O’Leary said creating a 100 percent smoke-free environment was the only way to protect people from the harm of second-hand smoke.

China in its development plan for the 12th Five-Year period (2011-2015) pledged to strive for tobacco-free public places in the country. A regulation introduced by the Ministry of Health in May prohibits smoking in indoor public places and the workplace.

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