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Asian tobacco market led by China with more than 300 million smokers

Asian tobacco market led by China with more than 300 million smokers

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2013-01-21 18:49:00 - Asian tobacco market led by China with more than 300 million smokers

While much of the industrialised world has seen a big drop in the number of smokers, the opposite is true of many emerging and developing markets in Asia.Although smoking prevalence has changed little in the region, ongoing population rises are keeping the number of smokers increasing. Big tobacco companies like big numbers, and they´re finding them in Asia, with the world´s largest and fastest growing population.Take China with its estimated population of 1.3 billion people: More than 300 million Chinese already smoke. Or consider India with its 1.2 million people: Around 275 million people there are tobacco users, according to recent World Health Organization (WHO) figures.China is the world´s largest cigarette market and saw 10 times more actual volume growth



than any other country between 2006 and 2011. It therefore has a significant impact on the global picture.Already, approximately 1 million smokers in China die each year from tobacco-related diseases and about 100,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. If current trends continue, the non-governmental organization expects the country´s smoke-related death toll to reach 2 million by 2020.China´s domination of the Asian tobacco market masks mixed performances elsewhere in the region. China has a market 10 times the size of the next largest market in the region, which is Japan, a market characterised by very different trends.With its ageing population, Japan reflects more Western trends and saw volumes fall by over 10% in 2011. It is expected to continue this trend, falling behind Indonesia in market size in 2012.There have been a number of warnings of growing tobacco use, primarily smoking, in Southeast Asia. This upward trend can be attributed to the increasing affordability of cigarettes in low and middle-income countries, aggressive marketing by tobacco companies and lack of effective regulation in a number of countries, mostly because of strong lobbying by the industry.However, the WHO´s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which opened for signature in 2003 and has been adapted by more than 170 countries, has led to strong measures for tobacco control around the world, including Southeast Asia.Vietnam has passed a law banning smoking in public places and all tobacco advertising. Singapore is seen as one of Asia´s most determined countries to curb tobacco usage. Smoking is banned in nearly every public area. Cigarettes are expensive, about US$9 per pack, and packages already contain graphics.For more information on the Asian tobacco market, see the latest research: Asian Tobacco MarketFollow us on Twitter @CandMResearch

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