Researchers from Oxford University, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control conducted two large, nationally representative studies, fifteen years apart.
They calculate the annual number of tobacco deaths had reached one million by 2010.
If this trend continues, by 2030 as many as two million men will be killed by tobacco each year
Professor Chen Zhengming is Director of China Programmes Clinical Health at the University of Oxford and he is the lead author of the new report published in the Lancet medical journal.
"Since you know 1990s with the rapid economic development (that) opened up, China suddenly produced a very large quantity of cigarettes. I mean, for example Chinese men account for one-eighth of the world's total population, but consumes at least one-third of the total cigarettes in the world. So now our study shows actually the health consequences that are now emerging."
The report finds that if people start smoking before the age of twenty, they have a 50% chance of dying from tobacco use, and in China two-thirds of all young men are smoking by that age.
The study also notes some progress, for example the number of people who quit smoking has risen from three to nine per cent between 1991 and 2006.
At the same time, it also reports that smoking among Chinese women has fallen dramatically.
According to Professor Chen Zhengming, ten per cent of women smoked in the 1930s, but by the 1960s and 70's the number of women smoking shrank to just one per cent.
But he also warns that the increase in male smokers could contribute to a reversal in this trend.
"So among Chinese women the smoking and the tobacco deaths is low and still falling, but I think the real danger is the social norm could change again. I mean other studies, not our study, other study have shown in many parts of China the adolescent women, they're starting to smoke again."
China is the world's largest cigarette producer and consumer, with 300 million smokers.
The Chinese government has been making increasing efforts to reinforce anti-tobacco publicity and curb rampant tobacco use nationwide.
It also raised the wholesale tax rate for cigarettes to 11 percent from 5 percent in May.
However a lack of solid public support has made it difficult to reduce the rate of new smokers in China.
For CRI, I'm Niu Honglin.
《 CRI在线收听：Smoking Set to Kill One in Three Young Men in China》出自：天天学英语