Women No.1 victims of second-hand smoke

by Jenny Novac on August 23, 2012

The Bureau of Health Promotion reported Thursday that although the majority of women in Taiwan are not smokers, they are the biggest victims of passive smoke.

“As a rule, women are affected by passive smoke from their fathers when they were little girls, from their husbands after marriage, and from their sons when they become older,” said Chiu Shu-ti, director-general of the bureau, during a press conference.

Taiwan Smoking Men

Smoking men in Taiwan

According to the 2010 nationwide survey on smoking, although 96% of women in Taiwan do not smoke, 20.3% of them are exposed to passive smoke at home, and in 85% of the cases, women are the victims of secondhand smoke as their fathers are smokers.

The poll revealed that sources because of which women are exposed to passive smoke differs with age.

Women’s fathers are the source of secondhand smoke when women are between 18 and 24 years old. Husbands’ smoking habit is the cause of passive smoke when women reach 25-55. Smoking sons are exposing their mothers to passive smoke when women reach 55.

Chiu Shu-ti said that women are exposed to passive smoke rather at home than on the job. This is equivalent to “a form of domestic violence that puts women’s health at risk,” Chiu said.

In July this year a survey on smoking among 11- to 18-year-olds women were conducted. The survey as well revealed that about 20.4 % of them were victims of passive smoke at home, where their fathers were the source in more than 70% of the cases.

The Bureau of Health Promotion called smoking people to kick the habit, not just for their own health, but also for the sake of their kids.

Entertainer Hsu Feng, who took part in an anti-smoking campaign ad for the bureau, as well was at the press conference.

Hsu has been smoking during 50 years and now he suffers from cancer of the esophagus, mouth, lungs, trachea and pelvis as a result of smoking.

Hsu added that he took up smoking in junior high school and never tried quitting smoking.

He said that he had two brothers, who also smoked and died of oral cancer.

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