The main content area
Application & Information
Laws & Regulations
Research & Statistic
Activities & Events
Surveillance and Research
Adult Smoking Behavior Survey (ASBS)
If you want print function, you can use Ctrl + P function.
According to the estimation made by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 6 million people died of tobacco use and related hazards every year worldwide. In Taiwan, diseases related with tobacco spent over 30 billion N.T. of the medical resources, and the total economic loss is as high as 50 billion annually. In order to efficiently prevent various health conditions caused by tobacco use, many countries are dedicated to establishing and implementing policies against tobacco use and promoting good general health. There are about 3.5 million cigarette smokers in Taiwan, which means approximately 20,024 people died per year of tobacco-related diseases. Based upon the increasing problems of tobacco use and related hazards, the Department of Health (now reorganized as Ministry of Health and Welfare) implemented the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act in 1997, and has been promoting policies against tobacco use since then. However, due to limited budgets and manpower, the nationwide tobacco control plan was not put forward until the introduction of the Health and Welfare Surcharge in 2002. The considerable amount of the health tax revenue also raised concerns and expectations for tobacco control and prevention from the Legislative Yuan, non-profit advocacy organizations and the general public.
To monitor the smoking behaviors and to provide references for assessing the effectiveness of tobacco control policies and strategies in Taiwan, periodical surveys are conducted by the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) on smoking behaviors of the general population and specific age groups. Compared with face-to-face interviews, the advantage of telephone interviews is that the preliminary data can be promptly acquired, and available for exploring health-related conditions, behaviors of cigarette smokers and their awareness of tobacco control. Therefore, the Taiwan HPA established a telephone survey mechanism in 2004 for the behaviors of cigarette smokers, and initiated nationwide collection of evidence-based information annually. The data gathered in 2004 was used as the baseline for development of a sustained surveillance system and monitor current smoking behaviors and trends of behavioral changes over time. The respective health authority can then evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the tobacco control according to year by year Adult Smoking Behavior Survey.
Aim of the Survey
To understand smoking behaviors, passive smoking exposure, self-assessment of health conditions and the varying trends among people over the age of 15 in Taiwan from the national and county/city representative survey data.
To establish the nationwide and county/city-wide database of the smoking prevalence of people over the age of 15, and as references for future planning, surveillance, and evaluation of health promotion programs and the effectiveness of interventions.
The target population of this survey are people in Taiwan over the age of 15 in households which own a landline telephone. Government offices, military units, hospitals, sanatoriums, enterprise corporations, schools, vocational training centers, dormitories, detention centers and prisons are excluded.
The Chunghwa Telecom residential telephone directory is used as the sampling frame. In order to compare with previous data collected before the reform of five municipalities at the end of 2010, the “original administrative districts (with 25 county/city)” are used as the sampling frame. This means that the current Taichung City will be re-framed as the original Taichung City and Taichung County, and will be sampled independently. The same way will be performed Kaohsiung City and in the Tainan City. Therefore, at least 1,068 interviews should be completed in each and every following city/county: Taipei City, New Taipei City, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County, Taoyuan County, Taichung County, Changhua County, Tainan City, Tainan County, Taichung City, Pingtung County, Yunlin County, Keelung City, Miaoli County, Chiai County, Nantou County, Ilan County, Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Hualien County, Chiai City, Taitung County, Penghu County, Kinmen County in the Lianjiang County and add up a 300 interviews, which is about the total population, resulting in a total sample size of the most recent survey is 25,932. The sampling is conducted with the Random Digit Dialing principle which the prefix, to select the prefix first and then to randomly sampling the last two or four digits of the telephone numbers with those selected area codes. Once the call is connected, the survey will be conducted only when the respondent has qualified with the random residence sampling standard.
This survey adopts the CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) System which integrates the computer (both hardware and software) with the telephone system, and is equipped with “Within-household Sampling” function. The specialist pre-programs the survey contents and the skip rules into the system. The interviewers input and record respondents’ answers. Supervisors oversee and monitor phone calls, to point out and edit possible errors so as to ensure the interview complies with the standard operating procedure of the survey.
The telephone survey of the year is conducted from June to the end of September of the year.
Data Process and Analysis
The survey data are checked and cleaned before analysis. To ensure a good representative of the target population, post-stratification weighting is applied and goodness of fit test is used to determine whether the distribution of the respondents in gender, age and residence matched the characteristics of the target population.
Results of the survey are published in the format of survey reports, press releases and conference or journal paper. Descriptive statistics are accessible from the interactive on-line querying at
Health Indicator 123