China Warned of Smoking Toll

A man blows out cigarette smoke outside a church in Beijing August 18, 2010. Only a quarter of Chinese people believe smoking tobacco increases the risk of cancer and anti-smoking campaigns are failing to influence them, a government survey released on Tu

A new report predicts that cigarette smoking will be killing 3.5 million people a year in China within two decades, nearly triple the current death toll. China's huge revenues from its state-owned tobacco monopoly is hindering anti-smoking measures, experts warned Thursday.

The report was prepared by Chinese and international experts and released Thursday, days before a World Health Organization deadline for China to ban smoking at public indoor venues.

There is no evidence that China will meet the Sunday deadline, one of several conditions imposed when it was admitted to the WHO five years ago.

The forecast for 2030 compares to about 1.2 million a year people who die of tobacco-related causes in China currently.

Experts Predit