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  • Modify Date:Modify Date:2015/01/27
  • Publish Date:Publish Date:2015/01/27
In order to promote anti-smoking, there must be enough funds, which can happen only when a health surcharge is slapped on tobacco taxes. The priorities for such an undertaking include actively revising the laws and rules related to tobacco control, enforcing such laws on a basic level, strengthening the cultivation of manpower, drumming up more support for tobacco control, providing multiple services to smokers who want to kick bad habits, expanding multilateral international exchanges, and carrying out various surveillance and research activities on tobacco hazards. Besides promoting routine plans and research, a major achievement in 2005 was that the President of Taiwan approved the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in Taiwan and Taiwan ’s participation within it. FCTC is the first international convention that includes Taiwan, bringing Taiwan in line with the global fight against tobacco. Under this convention, t he Department of Health (DOH), related government agencies, the National Health Research Institutes, and scholars and experts of the nation were assembled together at the National Tobacco Control Policy Conference to chart the future course of tobacco control for the nation. One such course of action was the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) on the behavior of smokers aged between 15 and 17. According to American surveys on tobacco control, in the 36 years from 1965 to 2001, smokers over the age of 18 in the total population declined from 42.4% to 22.8%. This indicates that in order to cut down th e smoking rate there is a need for long, sustained efforts, including preventing youths from smoking, raising the quitting rate, and building up support for a smoke-free environment. According to surveys conducted by the Taiwan Tobacco & Alcohol Corporation, between 1973 and 1996 the rate of male smokers accounted for 55 to 61 percent whereas female smokers stood at 2.9 to 4.6 percent. In the Survey on Health Promotion Knowledge and Behavioral Attitude of People in the Taiwan Area conducted in 2002, the rates of men and women who occasionally smoked or smoked every day were 50.0% and 5.8% respectively, higher than in other countries. To understand the effects of the health surcharge on tobacco taxes with respect to tobacco control, telephone surveys on adult smoking behavior were conducted in 2004 and 2005. The rates of daily smokers and casual smokers above the age o f 18 were 42.78% and 39.88% for men and 4.78% and 4.54% for women. This indicates that the rates of male smokers have come down dramatically, and although women’s rates had gone up, the percentage of increase has no statistical meaning. Thus it appears that anti-tobacco efforts have shown signs of success. Surveys on the smoking behavior of youths were al so conducted in 2004 and 2005, which indicated the smoking rate among junior high students to be 8.48%, 10.70% for boys and 5.74% for girls. Among senior high students, the overall rate of smoking was 17.1%, 22.7% for boys and 10.7% for girls. The statistics show that the smoking rate among youths tends to increase, a problem which calls for attention. Tobacco control is an effort that is beneficial to the health of everyone, their families, and the nation as a whole. The direction of our future efforts are to promote the health of the people through the implementation of Say No to Smoke and the carrying out of the Smoke -free Strategy on all fronts. This annual report introduces our major achievements in 200 5, in hopes that our partners, who have made major contributions and sacrifices f or the anti-tobacco cause, can provide further suggestions and comments.