Translated by Cara Steenstra
News released by Government Information Office
On June 9th, Taichung's Public Health Bureau held an anti-smoking campaign at Taichung Elementary School. During the smoke free campaign press conference, health spokesperson Chen Jian Zhou was present as the campaign's spokesperson. He was joined by the wife of Taichung City Mayor, Ms. Shao Xiao Ling, the Chief of the Public Health Bureau, the principal of Taichung Elementary School and eight school children. They all put their right hands in clay to make a promise of saying no to smoking.
During the activity, the wife of Taichung City Mayor, Ms. Shao Xiao Ling, spoke to the children there and told them that smoking is like sucking dirty black air into your lungs and is very unhealthy; and that smokers usually smell like cigarettes and are not very popular. Ms Shao also appealed to the children to say no to smoking and tell their parents to quit smoking as well, so that everyone can grow up in a healthy smoke free environment.
The Public Health Bureau expressed that according to 2005 Taichung City Public Health Bureau questionnaires, almost 7% of grade five school children in Taichung have had the experience of smoking, 15% of junior high school students, 30% of senior high school students and 45% of adults have had the experience of smoking. The numbers indicate that the smoking age has been decreasing year by year, and many school age children are unfamiliar with the serious health consequences that smoking does to the body. The Taichung City Public Health Bureau hopes that activities as such will help increase children's knowledge in this aspect, encouraging them to say no to smoking and help keep their school environment smoke free.