IAG MAR 2014 - page 10

INSIDE
ASIAN
GAMING
|
March 2014
10
Smoking Prevalence Rates – 2012
Source: JohnD. KasardaandTaoyuanAerotropolis
China is a signatory toWHO’s 2003 Framework Convention on
Tobacco Control, which monitors public policies in areas such as
prevention, treatment, awareness, marketing and advertising and
taxation, but government’s efforts to curb the country’s habit have
been, atbest, spotty.
Some of this can be blamed on the fact that China isn’t just
the world’s biggest tobacco consumer, it’s the biggest producer,
home toavast andflourishingbusiness that’s runas themonopoly
of a state-owned enterprise known as the ChinaNational Tobacco
Corporation, whose operations extend across 33 provincial
administrations and more than 70 state-owned sub-enterprises
and another 1,000 commercial enterprises employing in all more
than half a million people and specializing in everything from
cultivation to sales to themachinery of manufacturing to imports
and exports. In 2010, according to data compiled by the State
Tobacco Monopoly Administration, it cranked out 2.78 trillion
cigarettes. The taxes and profits this throws off amount to more
than 7%of central government revenues. InYunnan, the country’s
main tobacco-producingprovince, it’smore like92%.
“Money is at the center of the problem when it comes to
resolving to ban smoking in public,” says the Chinese Association
on Tobacco Control, a non-profit agency that operates under the
auspices of theministries of Health andCivil Affairs. “Governments
are addicted to the economic gains generated by the tobacco
industry.”
The bottom line for Macau’s casinos and their world-beating
US$45 billion casino market last year may have been 3.7 million
smokers, quitepossiblymore, and this isn’tcountingHongKongand
Taiwanand thecity’sothermajor sourcesof visitation.
Design forEvasion
The Macau restrictions that took effect 1st January 2013 allow
casinos todesignateup to49%of theirgamingareas for smoking.All
sixconcessionairesapplied for the space inan initial rangeof 34% to
49%of thefloorsof 44casinos.
Within days it was clear that what the government had in fact
instituted was a giant loophole with some regulation around the
edges.
AdultSmokers
%ofpopulation
Male%
Female%
(millions)
(millions)
EasternEurope
55
31
Laos
1.3
31
Indonesia
53
30
57
3
Myanmar
7.1
30
51
11
Central Europe
28
27
WesternEurope
89
25
26
22
China
270
24
45
2
Philippines
15
24
40
8
S. Korea
10
24
41
6
Japan
26
23
35
11
Cambodia
2.2
21
42
3
Vietnam
14
20
41
2
Thailand
10
19
37
2
World
1,000
18.7
32
6
Malaysia
4.1
18
37
2
Taiwan
3.4
17
32
3
Australia/NZ
3.7
16
17
15
N. Africa/ME
51
16
29
4
UnitedStates
39
15
16
14
India
120
13
22
3
Singapore
0.43
12
22
4
Sub-SaharanAfrica
38
7
13
2
Source:
UniversityofWashington, Institute forHealthMetricsandEvaluation
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