This chapter outlines the policy context for tobacco control and how this has changed in recent decades. The chapter identifies key policy-making organs of the state and the turning point around 2012–2013 that moved China from the reform era of ‘fragmented authoritarianism’ to a more strategic and centralised system of ‘top-level policy design’. Historical and current challenges to tobacco control in China include community understanding of the harms of smoking and social norms surrounding tobacco consumption; national political leadership for tobacco control; the central and local institutional environments in which tobacco control occurs; the strategies used by the industry to resist tobacco control; and the experience of advocacy in civil society. A critical review of the tobacco control narrative since 1979 includes early efforts to promote tobacco control (1979–1999); the period (1999–2006) occupied negotiating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC); efforts towards implementation (2007–2012); and the period after 2012 when the new focus on central ‘political steering’ and ‘top-level design’ provided better prospects for action. The final section assesses current barriers to tobacco control and the changing positions of the ‘players’ in the shifting policy field.
Barnett P., Zhang W., Jiang S. (2021) Policy Environments for Tobacco Control. In: Barnett R., Yang T., Yang X.Y. (eds) Smoking Environments in China. Global Perspectives on Health Geography. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76143-1_7