In this article, I consider what a casual observer can see of a notorious product’s primary place of fabrication. Few products have been criticized in recent years more than cigarettes. Meanwhile, around the world, the factories manufacturing cigarettes rarely come under scrutiny. What have been the optics helping these key links in the cigarette supply chain to be overlooked? What has prompted such optics to be adopted and to what effect? I address these questions using a comparative approach and drawing upon new mapping techniques, fieldwork, and social theory.
Introduction. This study investigated the intensity of cigarette consumption and its correlates in China among urban male factory workers, a cohort especially vulnerable to tobacco exposure, one that appears to have benefitted little from recent public health efforts to reduce smoking rates.
Methods. Data were collected from men working in factories of Kunming city, Yunnan, China, who are current daily smokers (N = 490). A multinomial logistic regression was conducted to examine the factors in association with smoking intensity in light, moderate, and heavy levels.
Results. Light smoking correlated with social smoking, smoking the first cigarette later in the day, self-reported health condition, and quit intention. Heavy smoking was associated with purchase of lower priced cigarettes, difficulty refraining from smoking, and prehypertensive blood pressure.
Conclusion. Even in regions where smoking is highly prevalent, even among cohorts who smoke heavily, variation exists in how cigarettes are consumed. Analyses of this consumption, with special consideration given to smoking intensity and its correlates, can help guide tobacco-control strategists in developing more effective interventions.