At the end of this month, Novartis, Basel, Switzerland-based renowned healthcare product company, will hit the Chinese market with a new smoking cessation product. Its rival, Johnson & Johnson, will join in a similar campaign by the end of this year by introducing a new stop-smoking chewing gum.
China's current smoking population has reached 350 million and the number is increasing by an average of 3 million yearly. Smoking-related diseases kill some 1.2 million every year.
Based on this figure, many foreign companies regard China as a potentially huge market for smoking cessation products.
"If 17 percent of the current smokers, or 60 million people, decided to cut their smoking habit and each of them spent 500 yuan on related products, that would be a market worth 300 billion yuan," predicted Liu Zhenxian, board chairman of Beijing’s Novartis Pharma Ltd. "That's huge."
Chen Xiao, a sales representative of the new smoking cessation product by Novartis, is also upbeat about market prospects regarding their new product, though he admitted that it is hard to ask people to quit smoking.
For more details, please read the full story in Chinese (http://jjckb.xinhuanet.com/gnyw/2007-10/22/content_70666.htm).
(China.org.cn October 22, 2007)