There were 680,000 calls to the Taiwan quitline -toll free phone numbers 0800-636-363 in Taiwan as of September, 2012. It has helped about 150,000 individuals since it became operational by Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health in 2003. The overall satisfaction rate reached more than 80% over the years and the quit rate in six months was 37.84%.
Smoking is related to the risk of cancer and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, said Li-Ju Lin (林莉茹), health promotion division chief of the Department of Health in Taipei City Government. According to the World Health Organization’s statistics, 5.4 million people die each year from smoking related conditions - one every six seconds. The lifespan of smokers are shortened by 15 years. “Tobacco control has become an important public health issue for every country, and quit smoking would lead to better health,” she said.
Jia-Wen Chang (張佳雯), Director of Taiwan Quitline, pointed out, the number of people seeking help from Taipei City accounted for 11.8% in 2010, 13.51% in 2011 and 16.02% in September, 2012. There were 1,644 calls from Taipei City from January to September this year, being the highest local administrative area in Taiwan. “Quitline provides convenience, privacy and professionalism. These characteristics have boosted the appeal of quitline,” said Chang.