Page 4 - Taiwan Tobacco Control Annual Report 2015 台灣菸害防制年報(英文版)
P. 4

From the Director-General

                Creating a smoke-free environment, that Brings

                health to everyone,every day

                “Smoking kills”—Tobacco is the number one killer in Taiwan

                     Smoking causes cancer, heart attacks, and stroke for the smokers, and fetal deformities for
                the babies. Second hand smoking and third hand smoking, a new description for the contaminated
                toxic tobacco residuals lingering on long after smoking, are less well known by the public but equally
                hazardous to the surrounding individuals. Smoking kills at least 20,000 people every year in Taiwan,
                wreaking havoc among smokers, their families, and the whole society. The Tobacco Hazards
                Prevention Act, updated in 2009, has been in effect for 6 years. With concerted efforts extended by
                local governments like cities or counties and by many departments across central government, the
                prevalence of smoking rate, aged 18 years and above, has dropped from 21.9% in 2008 to 16.4% in
                2014, with a whopping 890,000 individuals quit smoking within 6 years.
                Smoke-free Environments

                     Both active and passive smoking can cause economic and disease burden to every society,
                and therefore, tobacco control remains a top priority for each country.  The goal of tobacco control
                is, not only to reduce the number of smokers, by preventing smoking among nonsmokers and by
   004          helping smokers quit smoking, but also to protect the public from exposure to second hand smoke. To
                achieve this, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW)
                enforced the laws in eliminating second hand smoke in public areas. The HPA has de-normalized
                the smoking behavior and transformed the smoking culture in Taiwan, by fostering and maintaining
                smoke-free environments covering more than 90% of all areas, such as smoke-free schools, military
                compounds, communities and workplaces.
                     The Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act in Taiwan has been in effect for 6 years since January
                11th, 2009. Not only non-smoking areas were expanded by recognizing smoke-free schools, smoke-
                free military compounds and smoke-free workplaces, but also instituting  pictorial  warnings on
                cigarette packages as of June 1st, 2014, with 8 different versions for rotational purpose. These
        AN T
                versions targeted different populations, provided quit-line information and facilitated smoker’s
                cessation motives, by invoking both cognitive and emotional appeal, and by relating to personal
                touch from individuals and from family members. The creativity contest in tobacco control for youth,
                underpinned by “smoke free is fashionable”, promoted the message "Be cool, NO SMOKING!". By
                way of campus activities, official websites, and social media like Facebook or YouTube, the hazards
                of smoking and the ability to say no to smoking have been clearly communicated and emphasized.
                Promoting tourism with smoke-free Taiwan

                     Effective April 1, 2014, the ordinances for smoke-free parks and recreational areas were
                implemented by HPA. They covered “National Parks, National Nature Parks, Scenic Spots, and
                Forest Parks” scattered in 47 areas with 174 scenic locations and 3,790 parks and greeneries.
                Smoking is prohibited everywhere except for designated areas. Approval rating for such a unique
                program by the public was overwhelmingly positive, up to 96% in a recent survey. The smoke-free park
                program allowed tourists to breathe fresh air and enhanced their health, while actively promoted tourism.
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