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Open Access Research article

Attitudes and behavioral response toward key tobacco control measures from the FCTC among Chinese urban residents

Tingzhong Yang1*, Yanwei Wu2, Abu Saleh M Abdullah3, Di Dai1, Fuzhong Li4, Junqing Wu5 and Haiqing Xiang6

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Tobacco Control Research, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310058, China

2 Institute of Health Education, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

3 Department of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

4 Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, USA

5 WHO collaborating Center for Research in Human Reproduction Unit of Epidemiology, China

6 Hangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:248  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-248

Published: 18 September 2007

Abstract

Background

The Chinese National People's Congress ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on 27 August 2005, signaling China's commitment to implement tobacco control policies and legislation consistent with the treaty. This study was designed to examine attitudes towards four WHO FCTC measures among Chinese urban residents.

Methods

In a cross-sectional design study, survey data were collected from two Chinese urban cities involving a sample of 3,003 residents aged 15 years or older. Through a face-to-face interview, respondents were asked about attitudes toward four tobacco control measures developed by the WHO FCTC. Data on the four dependent measures were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Using descriptive statistics, potential change in smoking behavior that smokers might make in response to increasing cigarette prices is also reported.

Results

81.8% of the respondents in the study sample supported banning smoking in public places, 68.8% favored increasing the cigarette tax, 85.1% supported health warnings on cigarette packages, and 85.7% favored banning tobacco advertising. The likelihood to support these measures was associated with gender, educational level, and personal income. Smokers were less likely to support these measures than non-smokers, with decreased support expressed by daily smokers compared to occasional smokers, and heavy smokers compared to light smokers. The proportion of switching to cheaper cigarette brands, decreasing smoking, and quitting smoking altogether with increased cigarette prices were 29.1%, 30.90% and 40.0% for occasional smokers, respectively; and 30.8%, 32.7% and 36.5% for daily smokers, respectively.

Conclusion

Results from this study indicate strong public support in key WHO FCTC measures and that increases in cigarette price may reduce tobacco consumption among Chinese urban residents. Findings from this study have implications with respect to policymaking and legislation for tobacco control in China.