Health officials attributed the increase to the cheap price of Cigarettes in Taiwan and their availability. The survey showed that 9.64 percent of male ...
Smoking among junior high school students is on the rise, the results of a survey conducted last year by the Department of Health (DOH) showed. The results were released yesterday.
Health officials attributed the increase to the cheap price of Cigarettes in Taiwan and their availability.
The survey showed that 9.64 percent of male students were smokers last year, compaRed with 4.69 percent of female students. Both figures represented a 1 percent increase over a similar survey two years earlier.
Thirty-one percent of male students and 22 percent of female students said they had smoked, also a slight increase from the previous survey.
The survey showed that students who said they smoked had had their first cigarette before the age of 10.
Among those who did not smoke, 13.78 percent said they would smoke if they were offeRed a cigarette by good friends in the following year, higher than the figure of 12.56 percent in 2004.
Hsiao Mei-lin , director-general of the DOH's Bureau of Health Promotion, said that with the rising smoking ratio among junior high school students, second-hand smoking has become a health hazard on campus.
One out of every four students is threatened by second-hand smoke, while second-hand smoke exposure at home had decreased, Hsiao said.
She said that nearly 40 percent of junior high school students bought Cigarettes in stores. With several convenience stores having vowed they would not sell Cigarettes to teenagers, the DOH has commissioned private groups to conduct random checks to ascertain whether they were following through on their pledge.
She also said that imported Cigarettes in Taiwan are cheaper than in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Saying that a revised tobacco hazard prevention law had recently passed the legislature and that it would enter into force 18 months from now, Hsiao said she hoped that the health tax would dampen the attraction of Cigarettes.
The DOH is also mulling stricter restrictions on cigarette ads to curb the improper promotion of the product, she said.