A rapidly aging population poses serious challenges for many countries around the world, particularly in Asia, home to the most populous countries. China and India account for nearly 36% of the world’s population, and are expected to face social and economic complications from demographic change in the next decades.
China’s State Council has put forth draft legislation that would ban smoking in public spaces, part of the government’s larger advocacy efforts to help curb tobacco use nationwide. Matthew Kohrman, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, said it’s a step forward but the ban’s long-term success would depend on local enforcement.
A middle class is emerging in China, and simultaneously, its population is rapidly aging. These two phenomena are impacting the country’s traditional consumer habits, including spending on healthcare. Experts say private-sector services are one important part of the future of China’s healthcare system, and perhaps also a sign of what’s to come for other countries in the region.