Story of the Month - May 2019

Story of the Month - May 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年五月 

   

Storyofthemonth May2019 

Photo Credit: Pexels (圖片來源:Pexels) 

 

Prof. Jin Lei, Fellow of Center of Urban History, Culture and Media, is recently working on a project that examines social disparities in health lifestyle in transitional China and for now she is focusing on smoking, one of the most serious public health challenges in China. China is the largest producer and consumer of cigarettes, producing and consuming one third of the world’s cigarettes. In 2010, around one sixth (1.4 million deaths) of all deaths in China were attributed to tobacco use. Smoking is highly correlated with people’s education levels and the educational gaps in smoking has widened drastically in recent cohorts; the educational gaps in smoking among the post-1980s cohorts were more than twice as big as those among the cohorts that grew up during the Cultural Revolution. This suggest that the burden of disease attributable to smoking will fall disproportionally on the socially disadvantaged. The widening educational gaps were probably due to the increasing salience of education as China’s economy marketized and to the fact that as the harms of smoking became known, socially advantaged groups were more likely to get hold of and act on that knowledge. Moreover, she found that smoking cessation was extremely rare for both high and low-education individuals; the educational gaps widened mainly because in recent cohorts, low-education individuals were much more like to initiate smoking than those with higher education, compared with earlier cohorts. This research suggests that public policies need to encourage smoking cessation and prevent smoking initiation especially among vulnerable groups. In her future research, she plans to examine how low socioeconomic positions contribute to smoking initiation among adolescence.

 

 

中心成员金蕾教授的研究項目之一,是探討中國轉型時期健康生活方式的社會差異。吸煙作為中國最嚴峻的公共衛生挑戰之一,也是此項研究目前主要的關註點。中國是世界上最大的卷煙生產國和消費國,生產和消費了全世界三分之一的卷煙。2010年,中國死亡人口中約有六分之一(140萬人)與煙草使用有關。吸煙行為與個體的教育水平高度相關,而近年來年輕世代中吸煙行為的教育差距急劇擴大; 80年代後出生的世代中吸煙行為的教育差距是文化大革命期間長大的世代的兩倍多。這也意味著由吸煙行為造成的疾病負擔將不成比例地落在社會弱勢群體身上。這一差距的不斷擴大,究其原因,一方面是由於教育的重要性隨著市場化程度深化而越發凸顯,另一方面也是由於在吸煙的危害性逐漸為人們所知的過程中,社會優勢群體更有可能掌握相關知識並采取行動。此外,她發現,對於高教育和低教育的人來說,戒煙行為均極為罕見而導致教育差距擴大的主要原因,則是由於在年輕的世代中,與早期世代相比,低教育程度的個體比高教育程度的個體更容易習得吸煙行為。該研究表明,在公共政策的制定上,我們需要積極鼓勵戒煙行為並加強防治弱勢群體中的吸煙行為。在未來的研究中,她將著手於研究青少年群體中,社會經濟地位是如何影響其吸煙行為的習得。

 

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