Impact of the 2009 Taiwan Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act on Smoking Cessation
In January 2009, the government of Taiwan amended the 1997 Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act by extending smoke-free areas to include almost all enclosed work-places and public places, adding graphic health warnings to cigarette packages, totally banning tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship and increasing tobacco taxes. This study examined the impact of the 2009 amended Act on smoking cessation in Taiwan.
Taiwan Adult Tobacco Surveys 2007 and 2010, each with a nationally representative sample of adults aged 18 years and older (n = 16 588, and n = 16 295, respectively).
All recent active smokers (current smokers plus former smokers who quit smoking within the past 12 months) were used for the analyses (n = 3783 in 2007, and n = 2777 in 2010).
Quit attempt rate and annual cessation rate (defined as having succeeded in quitting for at least 3 months) among recent active smokers were compared between the pre-Act (2007) and post-Act (2010) periods.
The quit attempt rate increased significantly from 39.4% in 2007 to 42.9% in 2010. The annual cessation rate increased significantly from 7.1 to 8.9%. A multivariate analysis, controlling for demographic characteristics, showed that the implementation of the 2009 Act was associated with an increase in the quit attempt rate [odds ratio (OR) = 1.14; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03–1.25] and the annual cessation rate (OR = 1.28; 95% CI = 1.08–1.53).
The comprehensive tobacco control programme introduced in 2009 in Taiwan, which combined smoke-free legislation with a tobacco tax increase, graphic health warning labels and a total ban on tobacco advertisements, was associated with increases in quit attempt rate and annual cessation rate.