Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Samantha Wells

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall



Approximately one million smokers die in China every year. Risk perceptions of smoking have been theorized as being important in explaining behaviour change and have been found to be associated with initiating and quitting smoking. This study examined the extent to which smokers in China perceive risks associated with smoking (i.e., perceived likelihood of getting a smoking-related disease) and the roles of socio-demographic factors (i.e., gender, age, ethnicity, income and education) and knowledge of the consequences of smoking in explaining risk perceptions of smoking. Participants included 4861 smokers from six cities in China. The prevalence of perceived risk for smoking was very low: 19.9% (95% CI: 17.5%-22.7%). Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that those more likely to perceive risk were in the youngest age group, with medium education, and higher health knowledge. Interventions may be needed in China to improve knowledge and perceptions about the health harms of smoking.