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Anti-Tobacco Measures Help Reduce Smoking Among Teens In Taiwan, Study Shows

“Fewer teens are smoking in Taiwan since 2009, when strict smoke-free policies, cigarette advertising bans and other anti-tobacco measures were put into place, according to a new study,” Reuters reports. The study, published in the journal Addiction, found “[s]tudents who reported ever having smoked decreased from 27 percent in 2004 to 23 percent in 2011,” and “[a]mong smokers, those who reported trying their first cigarette before age 10 decreased from 38 percent in 2004 to 28 percent in 2011,” the news agency writes. “Though adult smoking in Taiwan had declined every year from 2004 to 2011, teen smoking didn’t start to decline until 2010, the authors note,” Reuters states, adding, “The smoke-free policies appeared to have the strongest effect on teens in rural areas.”

The WHO “advocates evidence-based measures including price increases, advertising bans, smoke-free policies and graphic warning images to curb tobacco use, and those policies were part of an anti-smoking law implemented in Taiwan in 2009,” according to Reuters. “Though the U.S. has signed the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, it has not been ratified in Congress, [John Pierce of the University of California, San Diego's Moores Cancer Center] said. The treaty calls for graphic warning labels on cigarette packages, which have been implemented in Taiwan but were not supported in the U.S.,” the news agency notes (Doyle, 8/13).