Response to the Guardian’s article – Inside China’s ‘cancer villages’

Anti-smoking poster - some in English

Anti-smoking poster – some in English

A response to the Guardian’s article – Inside China’s ‘cancer villages’ 

While the article might be accurate about some things, it doesn’t mention two aspects of life in China which should be taken into account when discussing health issues and in particular the incidence of cancer.

First, 70% of Chinese men smoke and despite recent attempts to prevent it on public transport and other public places, this is frequently ignored. In 11 years travelling in the country I have never been in a restaurant where smoking is banned. When I’ve commented on the fact that the ban in the lifts in the building where I live is largely ignored, the response I’ve got is that the “no smoking” sign means not actually smoking the cigarette while in the lift. Having it alight is ok!

The poster above photographed yesterday is the first anti-smoking posters I can recall seeing in 11 years travelling through a great deal of the country.

Secondly there has been a rapidly increasing life expectancy in China so far more cancer has developed and been detected. Any statistical analysis that fails to take this increased life expectancy into account must be considered to be flawed.

By 2008 the average life expectancy in China’s biggest economic powerhouse Guangdong Province had increased by 44 years since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949.

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