An overview of the China National Tobacco Corporation and State Tobacco Monopoly Administration

Environ Health Prev Med. 2013 Jan;18(1):85-90. doi: 10.1007/s12199-012-0288-4. Epub 2012 Jun 14.


Objectives: China is facing a serious public health problem in active and passive smokers. Confronted with this, China has taken some measures to control tobacco. However, this information has not been surveyed at academic level. Our aim is to investigate information relating to tobacco controls in China.

Methods: To find information relating to tobacco control, we reviewed and analysed the China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC) and State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) mainly by systematic examination of documents made available in the University of California, San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and China Tobacco database.

Results: Eleven relevant documents met our research purpose, and 18 further relevant documents were found on the CNTC, STMA and Tobacco China database websites. As a result, 29 relevant articles were included in our analysis. We describe the CNTC and STMA's history, structure, and relation to the Chinese Government ministry and to other tobacco companies, and China's tobacco control in detail.

Conclusions: The Chinese cigarette market is dominated by a state-owned monopoly, the STMA. Under the protection of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Tobacco Monopoly, the STMA controls all aspects of the tobacco industry. As far as the Chinese tobacco monopoly is concerned, although smoking harms people's health, restraining smoking threatens social stability and government income, which may be more serious problems for any government. China still has a long way to go in creating smoke-free environments.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Commerce
  • Government Regulation / history
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tobacco Industry / economics
  • Tobacco Industry / history*
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*