China

Project and Country Background

Browse packs from China

China has a population of 1.44 billion people; 24.2 percent of the adult population (15+, age standardized) and 3.9 percent of the youth population smoke cigarettes (13-15 years old). ¹ ² ³ An estimated 2,418,665 people in China die each year from diseases caused by smoking.⁴

TPackSS worked with in-country collaborators to purchase cigarettes in five major cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Kunming and Chengdu. Within each city, packs were collected from a sample of 12 economically and socially diverse neighborhoods. Data collectors purchased one of every unique cigarette pack available from vendors selected in each neighborhood. From November 12 to December 6, 2013, data collectors purchased 453 unique cigarette packs. Then from February 6 to February 22, 2017, data collectors visited the same five cities and purchased 738 unique cigarette packs. 

The tobacco packaging and labeling requirements in effect at the time of data collection were used to assess each tobacco pack’s compliance with the requirements.

Suggested Citation for Information on this Page: Tobacco Pack Surveillance System (TPackSS). China: Project and Country Background. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. http://globaltobaccocontrol.org/tpackss/country/china [Insert Last Updated Date].


Packaging and Labeling Requirements Summary

Data collection dates Type of warning Warning label size and layout Number of warnings to be displayed Rotation Rules for misleading descriptors Other requirements

Nov. 12 to Dec. 6, 2013

[453 unique packs collected]

Text

30% of front, 30% of back

2

None

Some restrictions

Warning texts must appear in Chinese on the front and back of the pack

Feb. 6 to Feb. 22, 2017 

[738 unique packs collected]

Text

35% of front, 35% of back

3

None

Some restrictions

Warning texts must appear in Chinese on the front and back of the pack

General tobacco packaging and labeling requirements in China are regulated by the Tobacco Monopoly Law (1991) and its implementing regulations (1997). More specific tobacco packaging and labeling requirements were issued by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in 2007 in the Rules on Cigarette Package Labeling in the Territories of the People’s Republic of China. In 2008, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued a Notice on Interpretation of Relevant Articles in the Rules on Cigarette Package Labeling in the Territories of People’s Republic of China and on Review and Approval Requirements. The notice set standards for the structure of packaging labels as well as prohibited misleading descriptors.⁵


  1. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, Country profile China. (2021). Retrieved April 29, 2022     from https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/tobacco-chn-2021-country-profile
  2. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2021: addressing new and emerging products. Web Annex 10 WHO prevalence estimates. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-HEP-HPR-TFI-2021.10
  3. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2021: addressing new and emerging products. Web Annex 11.3 Youth surveys-tobacco use and smoking. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-HEP-HPR-TFI-2021.11.3
  4. Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 (GBD 2019) Results by Location, Cause, and Risk Factor. Retrieved April 29, 2022 from https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/
  5. Tobacco Control Laws Country Details for China: Packaging and Labeling. (2022). Retrieved April 29, 2022 from http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/country/china/pl-health-warnings