Tobacco use continues to be Taiwan’s leading preventable cause of death and disease, as it caused 18,800 tobacco-related deaths annually, which is on average one death every half an hour, therefore the reduction of adult smoking rate by half has been established as one of the objectives of the government’s 10-year plan, said Premier Sean Chen (陳?), Executive Yuan in Taiwan, on May 31st, 2012 World No Tobacco Day.
Chen pointed out, future tobacco control requires joint efforts of related departments such as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the interior, Ministry of Education, Department of Defense and Department of Health, to accelerate the reduction of smoking rate and promote public health.
According to the Premier, Tobacco use is in fact a curable and preventable addiction disease, and health risks, addiction, fire hazards, as well as personal and social economic losses, caused by the harmful effects of tobacco, are all preventable.
Since Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act took effect on January 11th, 2009, the exposure to second-hand smoke in smoke-ban places dropped from 24% to 8%, one of the biggest improvements in the world, and the adult smoking rate fell from 21.9% in 2008 to 19.1%, reducing about 420,000 smokers in the past 3 years. Yet the adult male smoking rate, which is more than 40% among 26-45 year old men, is still 1.6 times the rate in countries like United Kingdom and the United States.