The World Health Organization (WHO) Thursday praised China for its efforts to raise awareness on health risks caused by cigarette smoking.
"This year marks a milestone in history, as China's health ministry released its first official publication on the harms of smoking," the UN agency said in a statement on World No Tobacco Day Thursday.
The health ministry Wednesday issued a report on the health hazards of smoking, warning that over three million Chinese would die of smoking-related illnesses annually by 2050 if no measures were taken.
This report calls for smoke-free public spaces as part of the major national goal of increasing life expectancy, the Global Times reported.
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the world. Nearly six million people worldwide die from tobacco use each year.
China is the largest tobacco-producing and -consuming country in the world, with more than 300 million smokers and another 740 million people exposed to passive smoking.