Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Nonsmokers in China

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Tobacco Control Office, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.

2 School of Public Health, Peking University, China.

3 National Cancer Institute, USA.


Background: China signed the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and conducted a series of activities to protect people from secondhand smoke exposure. This paper explores the changes in prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers between 2010 and 2015. Methods: Data from the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey and 2015 National Adult Tobacco Survey were used in this study. Due to the complex sample design for these surveys, data were weighted and analyzed using the SAS 9.3 complex survey data analysis procedure. The Chi-square test was used for comparison among different groups. Results: From 2010 to 2015, secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers decreased in restaurants, government buildings, health-care facilities, schools, and public transportation in China (p<0.05). The relative change was most significant for schools (52.1%), followed by public transportation (49.4%) and government buildings (42.2%). The percentage of secondhand smoke exposure reported in workplaces declined from 55.2% to 45.3%. Secondhand smoke exposure at home reduced from 58.3% to 46.7%. People’s awareness that secondhand smoke could cause heart disease in adults, lung illness in children, and lung cancer in adults increased from 24.6% to 36.0%. Additionally, support for smoke-free policies is high among the Chinese population. Even for restaurants, where support for smoke-free policies was lowest, 75.1% of nonsmokers and 55.3% of smokers supported smoke-free policies. Conclusion: Secondhand smoke exposure declined from 2010 to 2015 in China but remains a serious problem. Public awareness about the hazards of secondhand smoke is increasing and Chinese people support smoke-free laws.


Main Subjects

Volume 21, S1
July 2020
Pages 17-22
  • Receive Date: 26 September 2019
  • Revise Date: 23 April 2020
  • Accept Date: 05 May 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 July 2020