Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 545–570 | Cite as

The Decline of Smoking Among Female Birth Cohorts in China in the 20th Century: A Case of Arrested Diffusion?

Article

Abstract

The smoking prevalence by age of women in China is distinct from most other countries in showing more frequent smoking among older women than younger. Using newly developed birth cohort histories of smoking, the authors demonstrate that although over one quarter of women born 1908–1912 smoked, levels of smoking declined across successive cohorts. This occurred despite high rates of smoking by men and the wide availability of cigarettes. The analysis shows how this pattern is counter to that predicted by the leading theoretical perspectives on the diffusion of smoking and suggests that it arose out of a mix of Confucian traditions relating to gender and the socio-economic and political events early in the twentieth century which placed emerging women’s identities in conflict with national identities. That a similar pattern of smoking is evident in Japan and Korea, two countries with strong cultural affinities to China, is used to buttress the argument.

Keywords

Tobacco China East Asia Diffusion theory Gender “Modern girl” 

References

  1. Amos, A., & Haglund, M. (2000). From social taboo to “torch of freedom”: The marketing of cigarettes to women. Tobacco Control, 9, 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, P. (2006). Women behaving badly: Crime, transgressive behaviour and gender in early twentieth century China. In Nan Nv: Men, women, and gender in early imperial China, vol 8, pp. 156–197.Google Scholar
  3. Banister, J., & Hill, K. (2004). Mortality in China 1964–2000. Population Studies, 58(1), 55–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benedict, C. (2011). Golden-Silk smoke: A history of tobacco in China, 1550–2010. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Borio, G. (2003). Tobacco timeline: The twentieth century 1900–1949—the rise of the cigarette. Online resource. http://www.tobacco.org/resources/history/Tobacco_History20-1.html. Last Accessed February 2011.
  6. Brenner, H. (1993). A birth cohort analysis of the smoking epidemic in West Germany. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1979-) 47:54–58.Google Scholar
  7. Brook, T. (2004). Smoking in imperial China. In S. L. Gilman & Z. Xun (Eds.), Smoke: A history of global smoking. London: Reaktion Books.Google Scholar
  8. Byun, W.-S. (2004). Marital status. In D.-S. Kim & C.-S. Kim (Eds.), The population of Korea (pp. 143–160). Daejon: Korea National Statistics Office.Google Scholar
  9. Chapman, S., & Freeman, B. (2008). Markers of the denormalisation of smoking and the tobacco industry. Tobacco Control, 17, 25–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheng, I. S., Ernster, V. L., & Guan-qing, H. (1990). Tobacco smoking among 847 residents of east Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 4(2–3), 156–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. China Data Center (University of Michigan). Online resource: Census data. Last Accessed February 2011 at http://chinadataonline.org/.
  12. Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. (2009). Retrieved August 11, 2009, from (http://www.geri.duke.edu/china_study/index.htm).
  13. Cho, H.-J., Khang, Y.-H., Jun, H.-J., & Kawachi, I. (2008). Marital status and smoking in Korea: The influence of gender and age. Social Science and Medicine, 66(3), 609–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DeBary, W. T. (1964). Sources of Chinese tradition (3rd ed., Vol. 2). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dong, M. L. P. (Ed.). (2008). Who’s afraid of the Chinese modern girl?. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Edwards, L. (2000). Policing the modern woman in republican China. Modern China, 26(2), 115–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eriksen, M., Mackay, J., & Ross, H. (2012). The tobacco atlas (4th ed.). Atlanta: American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation.Google Scholar
  18. Escobar, L. G., & Peddicord, J. P. (1996). Smoking prevalence in US birth cohorts: The influence of gender and education. American Journal of Public Health, 86, 231–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fernandez, E., Schiaffino, A., Borras, J. M., Shafey, O., Villalbi, J. R., & La Vecchia, C. (2003). Prevalence of cigarette smoking by birth cohort among males and females in Spain, 1910–1990. European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 12, 57–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ferrence, R. G. (1988). Sex differences in cigarette smoking in Canada, 1900–1978: A reconstructed cohort study. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 79, 160–165.Google Scholar
  21. Fukuda, Y., Nakamura, K., & Takano, T. (2005). Socioeconomic pattern of smoking in Japan: Income inequality and gender and age differences. Annals of Epidemiology, 15(5), 365–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goodman, J. (1994). Tobacco in history: The cultures of dependence. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Gu, D., Kelly, T., Wu, X., Chen, J., Samet, J., Huang, J., et al. (2009). Mortality attributable to smoking in China. The New England Journal of Medicine, 360, 150–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hammond, E. C. (Ed.). (1966). Smoking in relation to the death rates of one million men and women. Bethesda: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.Google Scholar
  25. Harris, J. E. (1983). Cigarette smoking among successive birth cohorts of men and women in the United States during 1900–1980. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 71(3), 473–479.Google Scholar
  26. Honig, E. (1985). Review: Socialist revolution and women’s liberation in China—A review article. The Journal of Asian Studies, 44(2), 329–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Honig, E. (2003). Socialist sex: The cultural revolution revisited. Modern China, 29(2), 143–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kemm, John. R. (2001). A birth cohort analysis of smoking by adults in Great Britain 1974–1998. Journal of Public Health, 23, 306–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kenkel, D., Lillard, D. R., & Liu, F. (2009). An analysis of life-course smoking behavior in China. Health Economics, 18(S2), S147–S156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Khang, Y.-H., Yun, S.-C., Cho, H.-J., & Jung-Choi, K. (2009). The impact of governmental antismoking policy on socioeconomic disparities in cigarette smoking in South Korea. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11(3), 262–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kohrman, M. (2007). Depoliticizing tobacco’s exceptionality: Male sociality, death and memory-making among Chinese cigarette smokers. The China Journal, 58, 85–109.Google Scholar
  32. Kohrman, M. (2008). Smoking among doctors: Governmentality, embodiment, and the diversion of blame in contemporary China. Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, 27(1), 9–42.Google Scholar
  33. Korean Women’s Christian Temperance Union. (2008). “History.” Online resource: http://www.kwctu.org/2007_html/english/1_kwctu/sub4.html. Last Accessed July 2011.
  34. KT&G Corporation. “KT&G corporation: Company history.” Online resource: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/KTamp;G-Corporation-Company-History.html. Last Accessed Feb 2011.
  35. La Vecchia, C., Decarli, A., & Pagano, R. (1986). Prevalence of cigarette smoking among subsequent cohorts of Italian males and females. Preventive Medicine, 15, 606–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Laufer, B. (1924). Tobacco and its use in Asia. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.Google Scholar
  37. Liu, B.-Q., Peto, R., Chen, Z.-M., Boreham, J., Wu, Y.-P., Li, J.-Y., et al. (1998). Emerging tobacco hazards in China: 1. Retrospective proportional mortality study of one million deaths. BMJ, 317(7170), 1411–1422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lopez, A. D., Collishaw, N. E., & Piha, T. (1994). A descriptive model of the cigarette epidemic in developed countries. Tobacco Control, 3(3), 242–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Malone, R. E. (2010). China’s chances, China’s choices in global tobacco control. Tobacco Control, 19(1), 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marugame, T., Kamo, K.-I., Sobue, T., Akiba, S., Mizuno, S., Satoh, H., et al. (2006). Trends in smoking by birth cohorts born between 1900 and 1977 in Japan. Preventive Medicine, 42(2), 120–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Morrow, M., & Barraclough, S. (2003a). Tobacco control and gender in southeast Asia. Part I: Malaysia and the Philippines. Health Promotion International, 18(3), 255–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Morrow, Martha., & Barraclough, Simon. (2003b). Tobacco control and gender in south-east Asia. Part II: Singapore and Vietnam. Health Promotion International, 18(4), 373–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nathanson, C. (1995). Mortality and the position of women in developed countries. In A. D. Lopez, G. Caselli, & T. Valhonen (Eds.), Adult mortality in developed countries (pp. 135–166). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. National Center for Health Statistics. (1970). Changes in cigarette smoking habits between 1955 and 1965. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.Google Scholar
  45. National Center for Health Statistics. (2011). Health, United States, 2010: With special feature on death and dying. Hyattsville: US Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  46. National Research Council. (2001). Diffusion processes and fertility transition: Selected perspectives. In J. B. Casterline, Committee on Population (Ed.), Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  47. New York Times. (1898). Use of tobacco in Korea: Consul General Allen says the native of both sexes are inveterate smokers. September 4.Google Scholar
  48. Nicolaides-Bouman, A., Wald, N., Forey, B., & Lee, P. (1993). International smoking statistics: A collection of historical data from 22 economically developed countries. Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications.Google Scholar
  49. Pampel, F. C. (2001). Cigarette diffusion and sex differences in smoking. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42(4), 388–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pampel, F. C. (2005). Diffusion, cohort change, and social patterns of smoking. Social Science Research, 34(1), 117–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pampel, F. C. (2006). Socioeconomic distinction, cultural tastes, and cigarette smoking. Social Science Quarterly, 87(1), 19–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Park, H., Remington, P., Peppard, P., & Trentham-Dietz., A. (2005). Long-term trends in smoking among successive cohorts of Korean men and women (unpublished manuscript).Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  53. Rogers, E. M. (1976). New product adoption and diffusion. The Journal of Consumer Research, 2(4), 290–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sato, B. H. (2003). The new Japanese woman: Modernity, media, and women in interwar Japan. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Segrave, K. (2005). Women and smoking in America, 1880–1950. Jefferson: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  56. Shafey, O., Ericksen, M., Ross, H., & Mackay, J. (2009). The tobacco atlas (3rd ed.). Atlanta: The American Cancer Society (Bookhouse Group).Google Scholar
  57. Waldron, I. (1991). Patterns and causes of gender differences in smoking. Social Science and Medicine, 32(9), 989–1005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Waldron, I., Bratelli, G., Carriker, L., Sung, W.-C., Vogeli, C., & Waldman, E. (1988). Gender differences in tobacco use in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America. Social Science and Medicine, 27(11), 1269–1275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wejnert, B. (2002). Integrating models of diffusion of innovations: A conceptual framework. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, 297–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weng, X., & Niu, S.-R. (1998). 1996 National prevalence survey of smoking patterns (1996 nian quanguo xiyan xingweide liuxingbingxue diaocha). Beijing: zhongguo kexue jishu chubanshe chuban.Google Scholar
  61. World Health Organization. (1999). Regional action plan on tobacco or health 2000–2004. Manila: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  62. World Health Organization. (2009). “WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2009: Implementing smoke-free environments.” Online at http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/2009/en/index.html. Last Accessed 28 Apr 2012.
  63. World Health Organization. (2010). Global adult tobacco survey. <http://www.who.int/tobacco/surveillance/gats/en/index.html>. Accessed 26 Apr 2012.
  64. Yang, M. M. (1999). From gender erasure to gender difference: State feminism, consumer sexuality, and women’s public sphere in China. In M. M.-H. Yang (Ed.), Spaces of their own: Women’s public sphere in transnational China. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  65. Yang, G., Fan, L., Tan, J., Qi, G., Zhang, Y., Samet, J. M., et al. (1999). Smoking in China: Findings of the 1996 national prevalence survey. JAMA, 282(13), 1247–1253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Yen, H.-P. (2005). Body politics, modernity and national salvation: The modern girl and the new life movement. Asian Studies Review, 29(2), 165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yi, Z., Poston, D., Vlosky, D. A., & Gu, D. (2009). Healthy longevity in China: Demographic, socioeconomic, and psychological dimensions. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  68. Yoo, T. J. (2005). The ‘new woman’ and the politics of love, marriage and divorce in colonial Korea. Gender & History, 17(2), 295–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yoo, T. J. (2008). The politics of gender in colonial Korea: Education, labor, and health, 1910–1945. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  70. Zhang, X., Cowling, D. W., & Hao, T. (2010). The impact of social norms on smokers’ quitting behaviors. Tobacco Control, 19, i51–i55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zhou, X. (2004). Smoking in modern China. In S. L. Gilman (Ed.), Smoke: A history of global smoking. London: Reaktion Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of MontevalloMontevalloUSA

Personalised recommendations