Rising Concerns of Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Taiwan Workplaces

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Rising Concerns of Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Taiwan Workplaces
Nearly 30% of non-smoking workers in Taiwan are still exposed to secondhand smoke, according to a recent report.

According to a report by the Chinese Central News Agency on April 29th, since Taiwan banned smoking in public workplaces in 2009, nearly 30% of non-smoking workers are still exposed to secondhand smoke at work. This data was released by the Health Promotion Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan on Monday.


According to a statement released by the Health Department on the day, in 2022, the rate of secondhand smoke exposure in workplaces across Taiwan has increased to 28.1%, up from 22.1% in 2020. During the same period, the smoking rate among adults aged 18 and above in Taiwan has also risen from 17.6% in 2020 to 19.7% in 2022, with the smoking rate among men increasing from 26.9% to 30%, and among women from 4.2% to 4.6%.


Since January 11, 2009, a total ban on smoking in indoor shared workplaces with three or more people has been implemented. Offenders will be fined 10,000 New Taiwan Dollars (approximately 317 USD).


The Director of Health Education and Tobacco Control at the Department of Health, Rosalind Yeung, revealed that complaints about smoking in the workplace, especially in restrooms or on balconies, remain widespread. She encouraged the public to report smoking in workplaces through a hotline and promised that local health departments would increase inspections to ensure a smoke-free environment upon receiving complaints.


According to a survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the United States, smoking poses a significant risk to adult workers. The statement also points out that exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer for non-smokers, especially when harmful substances like nicotine are present on their bodies or clothing.


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