Tobacco and the lung cancer epidemic in China

Mark Parascandola, Lin Xiao


China is in the midst of a lung cancer epidemic on an unprecedented scale. In 2015, there were an estimated 733,000 new lung cancer cases (17% of total cancer incidence) and 610,000 deaths (21.7% of total cancer mortality) in China. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality in China. Tobacco smoke exposure is the primary factor driving current lung cancer trends. In 2015, smoking prevalence was 27.7% (52.1% among men and 2.7% among women). China has taken substantial steps to control tobacco use in recent years, including 19 cities implementing comprehensive smoke free laws and expansion of cessation services. However, significant challenges remain in order to meet the 2030 Healthy China goal of reducing smoking prevalence to 20%. In particular, ongoing attention is needed to continuing to control secondhand smoke exposure, to further enhance smoking cessation services, and to address novel alternative nicotine delivery devices (ANDS).