Study Says China Could Prevent 30 Million Deaths from Respiratory Diseases

A new study says China could save nearly 30 million lives in the next 25 years by stopping smoking and eliminating the burning of fuels inside homes.

The study published Friday in the British medical journal "The Lancet" measured the effect of smoking (tobacco) and the use of solid fuels on respiratory diseases.

At current levels, the study's authors predict that more than 80 million people in China will die from respiratory diseases between 2003 and 2033.

Lung cancer, (chronic obstructive) pulmonary disease and tuberculosis are leading causes of death in China.

The burning of fuels like wood, coal and dung for cooking and heating is common in rural China.

China has an estimated 350 million smokers -- one quarter of the country's population and nearly a third of the total number of smokers in the world.