More and more Chinese students are using electronic cigarettes

E-cigarettes are sold at a shopping mall in Shanghai on December 27, 2021. Photo: VCG

Nearly 5% of Chinese middle school students have a habit of smoking, and 3.6% of the group regularly use e-cigarettes, according to a 2021 survey by the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC). The data was released on Tuesday, World No Tobacco Day, along with other reports that show a growing trend of Chinese minors using e-cigarettes.

The survey covered 270,000 middle school students and collected 124,119 questionnaires from students in 31 provincial-level localities on the Chinese mainland, according to the China CDC.

The latest China CDC survey showed that 23.2% of Chinese male college students have tried smoking, and the rate among female students who have tried is 9.5%.

The rates among Chinese middle school boys and girls who continue to smoke are 7.1% and 1.9%, respectively. And 35.7% of 270,000 people surveyed think it’s hard to quit once you start smoking, according to the latest China CDC survey.

As for electronic cigarettes, 86.6% of college students said they had heard of them, 16.1% had already tried them and 3.6% still use them.

Although China has banned the sale of cigarettes to young minors, more than 77% of college smokers said they were not refused when buying cigarettes and 70.8% of underage e-cigarette shoppers said they were not. not have been refused.

Other surveys released the same day showed that with the strict bans, underage Chinese students showed a decreasing tendency to use cigarettes while an increasing tendency to use e-cigarettes.

For example, data revealed by Shanghai authorities on Tuesday showed that the rate of local middle school students who smoked regularly fell from 1.4% in 2019 to 1% in 2021. However, that of middle school students who smoked cigarettes electronics increased from 1.2% in 2019 to 1.7% in 2021.

Nearly 6.5% of middle school students in Shanghai have tried e-cigarettes in 2021, while the rate in 2019 was 4.9%.

China has issued a number of bans since 2018 to protect minors from e-cigarettes. The amendment to China’s Juvenile Protection Law came into effect on June 1, 2021, International Children’s Day. The revised law includes a section on the protection of the health of minors which prohibits parents from encouraging children to smoke electronic cigarettes.

In Chinese colleges, 15% of male students smoked in 2021, while the rate of female students was only 1.1%, according to the latest survey from China CDC.

Among university smokers, 52.5% plan to quit in the next 12 months and 33% have tried to quit in the past 12 months.

About half of college smokers spend more than 16 yuan ($2.4) on a pack of cigarettes in 2021, which is higher than the average Chinese adult smokers spent 9.9 yuan on a pack of cigarettes in 2018 .

More than 90% of students have heard of it and more than 10% have tried it while 2.5% use it regularly in 2021, according to the latest survey from China CDC.

According to data revealed by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2021, in 2020 there were about 900 million students in middle schools and nearly 42 million students in the Chinese mainland.

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