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Smoking rate in Taiwan drops to lowest in 24 years

2014/12/09 16:47

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) The adult smoking rate in Taiwan recorded 18 percent in 2013, the lowest level since 1990, Health Promotion Administration Director-General Chiou Shu-ti said Tuesday.

The adult smoking rate in 1990 was 32.5 percent, Chiou said, attributing the drop in the ensuing years to measures taken by the government to encourage smokers to quit tobacco since the enforcement of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act in 1997.

Over the past decades, regulations have been revised to make them more and more tight against smoking in public spaces, while tobacco taxes have also been raised as part of efforts to discourage people from smoking, Chiou said.

Also, anti-smoking campaigns on college campuses have borne fruit, according to the administration, citing official statistics that show the smoking rate among high school students dropped from 14.1 percent in 2012 to 11.9 percent last year. The peak was at 15.2 percent in 2005, according to the data.

The statistics also indicate that the smoking rate among junior high school students stood at 5.2 percent in 2013, lower than the 6.7 percent in the previous year. The highest level of 8 percent was registered in 2010 .

(By Chen Ching-fang and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/J