- Matthew Kohrman from Depoliticizing Tobacco's Exceptionality
November 25, 2008
Readings: Smoking and Gender
Men are 15 times more likely to smoke than their female compatriots in China today, with the rate of male cigarette usage hovering around 60 percent, whereas among women it is less than 4 percent. The effects of these radically divergent smoking rates on mortality are unsurprisingly stark. By the early 1990s, tobacco was already responsible for 1 in 8 male deaths (compared to 1 in 33 for women). If current trends persist, by 2050 1 in 3 male deaths will be tobacco-related. Perhaps even more arresting, during the next fifty years, no less than 100 million Chinese men are likely to be killed by cigarette usage. One might expect that the cigarette-ravaged beneficiaries of what Connel calls the “patriarchal dividend” would be strong accelerants for popular protest. That has not been the case.