(CBN - Global) May 16 -- Cigarette packs in China still do not carry graphic health warning labels 10 years after the country signed up to the World Health Organization's 'Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,' mainly because of resistance from the authorities.
"It is against Chinese cultural traditions to print warning labels on cigarette packages, so there is no plan to do it," said Mr. Duan Tieli, deputy director of the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau.
"Nearly 90 percent of Chinese approve of graphic health warnings – like pictures of black lungs and throat cancer – being printed on cigarette packages to deter smokers, primarily new smokers," according to the China Daily, which cited an online survey.
China is the world's biggest consumer market for tobacco products. Smokers account for almost 28 percent of China's population, with men smokers massively outnumbering women smokers. There are 316 million smokers in the country, up 15 million from 2010. The country's tobacco makers do not print warning labels on their products, though packets do have written cautions such as "smoking is harmful to your health."
The Lancet medical journal predicts that at current rates a third of young Chinese men will die of smoking-related diseases.