Smoking Most Prevalent in Rural Areas in China


Tobacco use in China is unequally distributed among urban and rural people. It was found that rural people smoke more than urban. Experts say that the main reason for that is that people from rural areas have a lower socio-economic status (SES), however, they cannot exactly say how social structural factors affect rural smoking.

The objective of the study was to examine the social and personal contributing factors that play a leading role in supporting smoking practices among rural people in China.

An ethnographic study was made in a rural area of Central Jiangsu, China. People who participated in the study were those who lived in families with at least one smoking resident and there were kids.  In order to collect all necessary data the participants had to answer on a number of questions. Also unstructured observations were used to collect data. All collected data was analyzed by specialists.

The results of the study showed that though people were poorly informed about negative effects of smoking and had no motivation to give up the habit, social factors were the main barriers to quitting smoking.

In China cigarette gifting and cigarette exchange are considered an absolutely nromal thing. The tradition is especially popular in rural areas where the phenomenon is presented in every aspect of rural life, from daily activities to leisure time, in family and wider social interactions.

Now the question is — how traditional collectivism and familism is interacted with pro-smoking environment. What is the attitude of rural people towards smoke-free environments? Are they ready to implement smoke-free policies? These are just several questions that interest the experts. Living in the rural area was a serious barrier to quitting smoking because people were not informed about smoking cessation.

The main conclusion made after the study is that development of smoking cessation programs in rural areas of China must take into consideration the social determinants influencing smoking practices.

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