The current status of smoking behavior in Taiwan: Data analysis from National Health Interview Survey in 2001

Ting Yuan Cheng, Chi Pang Wen, Meng Chuan Tsai, Shan Pou Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To analyze the prevalence of current smokers and ex-smokers and smoking behavior among adults in Taiwan. Method: The study subjects came from a representative sample of the population in Taiwan and the data was collected through the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in 2001. Results: The smoking rate was 46.5% in males and 4.2% in females and the ex-smoker rate was 7.1% in males and 0.5% in females. The average daily consumption was 17.2 cigarettes among male daily smokers. The median age of smoking initiation among males declined from 20 to 18 years old and among females from 30 to 20, in the birth cohort of 1970-74. Conclusions: The male smoking rate has been decreasing slowly and the number of ex-smokers has remained low. Smoking was initiated at an earlier period in life than two decades ago. The future emphasis of tobacco control policies in Taiwan should include: (1) the development of a surveillance system for smoking, to be conducted year after year with consistent standardized questionnaires and (2) strategies to sharply increase cessation rates and to prevent smoking from being initiated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-464
Number of pages12
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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