Smoking is not only hazardous to smokers’ health, it can also jeopardize personal relationships. According to a campus survey published by John Tung Foundation, 45% students claimed they will stay away from smokers or take a detour when they see smokers.
In the 165 valid questionnaires, conducted by John Tung Foundation and China University of Science and Technology, 74 students claimed they will stay away or take a detour when they see smokers. Among them, 46% chose to keep a distance of 2 to 3 meters and 38% chose to keep a distance of more than 5 meters.
Main reasons that students chose to stay away from smokers include the avoidance of second-hand smoking harms and the fear of smell. “Smokers cannot smell smoke and they do not understand the pain that second-hand smoke imposed on people,” said fourth-year student Chen-Yu Jian (簡辰宇) from China University of Science and Technology, who chose to keep distance of 4 meters from smokers.
Taking Ming-Yi Li (李明依), a volunteer from John Tung Foundation, as an example, when she hangs out with friends who smoke, her natural reaction is to keep a certain distance, because of her sensitivity to tobacco smoke and her concern for harms associated with second-hand smoke. Thus, it is evident that smoking may result in widening the relationship distance.
Department of Health pointed out, Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act’s new provisions have been effective for 3 years since January 11, 2009, and have been instrumental in the nationwide adult smoking rate, which declined from 21.9% in 2008 to 19.1%. Smoking rate for students aged 13–15 years has also been effectively held back for the first time.