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Men in construction have highest smoking rate: data(TaipeiTimes)

發佈日期: 2019-09-16

Men working in the construction industry have the highest smoking rate in the workplace of any occupational group, according to the results of a survey released by the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) on Wednesday.

The agency released the results, conducted via telephone in 2017, as part of a news conference in Taipei to mark the WHO’s World No Tobacco Day, which is today. The theme of this year’s even is tobacco and lunch health.

The average person’s career lasts 40 years, with at least eight hours spent in the workplace each day, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Deputy Director-General Lee Po-chang (李柏昌) said.

Spending every day in a smoking environment is detrimental to lung health, he said.

Having a nonsmoking policy would improve a company’s image, demonstrating that it values not only occupational safety, but also the health and welfare of its employees, he added.

Smoking accounts for 5.7 percent of medical costs globally, or a loss of 1.8 percent of global annual GDP, HPA Deputy Director-General Chia Shu-li (賈淑麗) said.

Workplace tobacco hazards not only endanger personal lung health, but could also expose coworkers and family members to second or third-hand smoke, she said.

The HPA has created a short video to urge workers to quit smoking, she added.

The 30-second video clip was released on the HPA’s YouTube channel on Monday.

Smokers’ risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — a type of long-term, untreatable inflammation of the respiratory tract — is 6.3 times greater than that of nonsmokers, said Yu Chong-jen (余忠仁), president of the Taiwan Society of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and a vice superintendent at National Taiwan University Hospital.

About 45 percent of deaths caused by the disease could be attributed to tobacco use, he said. Few people know that smoking could also increase the risk of tuberculosis (TB) and TB-related deaths, he added.

Globally, about 7.9 percent of people with TB developed the disease due to smoking, Yu said, adding that TB is the 11th-biggest cause of death in the world.