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Taipei City Introduces the Smoking Cessation Passport to Promote Healthy Lifestyle in the Workplace

According to Shier-Chieg Huang, Commissioner of the Taipei City’s Department of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that one out of two smokers die because of his/her smoking behaviors. It is estimated that about 80% of all smokers do not take actions to fulfill their attempt to quit smoking. As the year end marks the time for new resolution for the upcoming year, it is also a perfect opportunity to begin the process of quitting smoking. The Taipei City Department of Health has collaborated with the John Tung Foundation to introduce the “Smoking Cessation Passport”, which will assist and accompany smokers to successfully quit smoking. It is also a reminder for workers to prioritize health in their endeavors to improve the economy.
Based on the results from the Health Promotion Administration’s Adult Smoking Behavior Survey, the adult (18 years old and above) smoking rate of Taipei City has decreased from 15.1% in 2012 to 9.8% in 2017, making Taipei City the city with the lowest smoking rate in Taiwan. However, it is estimated that there are still over 200,000 smokers in the city. The Department of Health has collaborated with over 400 contracted medical institutions in Taipei to provide smoking cessation and intervention services, which includes coverage for outpatients, inpatients and emergency patients. The services are comparable to the National Health Insurance drug payment: users of the service will only need to pay for the registration fee and up to NT 200 maximum of the smoking cessation drug fees, and eligible patients will receive up to 4 weeks of drug prescriptions. The Department of Health has also engaged with communities to offer smoking cessation sessions, hotline (0800-636363), etc. for people who are interested or determined to quit smoking once and for all.