Middle school students in Shanghai are the least likely to smoke, to have attempted smoking or used an e-cigarette, according to a smoking indicator survey of the nation's middle school students.
Among students aged between 12 and 18 in Shanghai, 1 percent said that they had smoked tobacco and 1.7 percent had smoked e-cigarettes, the Shanghai Health Promotion Center said on Monday.
The figures were from a survey conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, which polled nearly 270,000 middle school students spanning 31 provincial-level regions.
The survey covered tobacco use, e-cigarette use, tobacco dependence and quitting smoking, second-hand smoke exposure, access to tobacco products, tobacco control promotion and health education, tobacco advertising or promotion and awareness of tobacco hazards.
The survey results showed that 5.4 percent of respondents said they had attempted using tobacco, and 0.4 percent said they were regular smokers. In terms of e-cigarettes, 6.3 percent said that they had attempted e-cigarettes, while nearly 94 percent said they had heard about them.
Shanghai was one of the earliest cities on the Chinese mainland to carry out tobacco control, especially for youths. It has promoted smoke-free school campuses throughout the city for years and made various efforts to help students form a healthy concept and habit of refusing to smoke their first cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, from an early age.
Around World No Tobacco Day, which fell on May 31 this year, a smoking awareness event among juveniles was held in Shanghai. Many children signed letters of commitment that they will say no to smoking, including e-cigarettes.
"For the sake of their own health and others around them, I want to persuade family members who smoke to refrain from smoking at home, not to smoke outside of the designated areas outdoors and quit smoking," said Wang Yiqiao, a 9-year-old in Shanghai.
Shanghai started building designated outdoor smoking areas in the city's public venues, including waterfront areas, shopping malls, sports venues, parks, exhibition halls and public transportation hubs, last year. The city published a set of signs for outdoor smoking areas in late May in an effort to guide individuals to smoke at designated areas outdoors and minimize the influence on nonsmokers.
Shanghai was also the first city on the Chinese mainland to implement a comprehensive smoking ban indoors starting in March 2017. In October last year, e-cigarettes were included in the ban.
The smoking rate among adults in Shanghai has continued to drop and has reached 19.4 percent, according to figures released by the Shanghai Health Promotion Center in March. The national figure is around 28 percent, higher than the global average.