Tobacco output grows despite drop in farmland

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-7-28 23:48:03

Chinese cigarette producers made more cigarettes even with fewer tobacco farms in the first half of 2014, according to data from the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) released on Monday.

In the January-June period, cigarette output rose 0.2 percent year-on-year to 25.94 million crates, or 1.3 trillion cigarettes, while the amount of farming land dedicated to ­tobacco in China fell by 170,000 hectares to 1.23 million hectares, according to the STMA.

The output could supply every Chinese an average of 1,000 cigarettes in the first six months, underlining the challenge for smoking control efforts in China, which is home to more than 300 million smokers.

Among the obstacles impeding an anti-smoking drive is the huge revenue of the tobacco industry, which paid 579.54 ­billion yuan ($94 billion) in taxes during the first half of this year.

Taxes paid by the tobacco industry constituted about 7.8 percent of China's fiscal revenues in the first half, according to the Ministry of Finance and the STMA.

Health authorities estimate that about 1.4 million Chinese die of smoking-related illnesses every year as, besides 300 million smokers, 740 million people are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

As the world's largest tobacco producer and consumer, China was rated low in 2013 by the World Health Organization (WHO) among more than 100 countries and regions that have joined the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control over the past five years.

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