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More than 320 million of China’s 1.3 billion people are smokers (66.9% of all men and 4.2% of all women ⩾15 years old).1 Although Chinese men have been the subject of considerable research,2–4 little is known about smoking initiation among women. Our preliminary tobacco document research suggests significant female market segmentation and brand development by transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) in China. To understand the influence of these factors, we conducted a pilot study on susceptibility among young women in Beijing.
We assembled five focus groups of high school girls aged 16–19 years (n = 27) during summer 2006. After obtaining informed consent, a trained, female medical student conducted focus groups to ascertain knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, beliefs and intentions to smoke. Thirteen subjects reported smoking experience (smoked 100 lifetime cigarettes or smoked …
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