I am glad that the hazards of smoking are finally being expressed, and I praise the Taipei Times for running an article last week ("Officials hold anti-smoking event" June 01, page 2), which addressed this issue and helped Taiwanese citizens become aware of the problem.
Smoking is a major killer in Taiwan, and I am saddened to hear that the man in the story surnamed Chen was not informed of the risks of smoking before it was to late.
This is a situation that we cannot let happen. Big tobacco companies are well aware that their product is deadly. They have admitted this fact, but they do not care about consumers like Chen who have contracted cancer because of their tobacco products; they only care about their consumer's money.
We cannot allow the world's governments to be bribed by the tobacco companies into shuffling the risks of smoking aside.
I am happy to see that the Department of Health held such a wonderful activity and is making an effort to help people who want to quit smoking. It is a hard habit to quit, and I am glad that the government is assisting those who need help. If people want to smoke, it is their choice, but they should be aware of the consequences.
Second-hand smoke is also a horrible thing. And in relation to a recent article about air pollution ("Students march against pollution" June 6 page 2), second-hand smoke is a terrible problem infecting the environment and people's health.
Cigarette smoke contains around 4,000 chemicals, which are put into the air we breathe every time a person lights up a cigarette. Personally, that is not air that I want to breathe, and I believe that if New York City can go smoke-free in all public places, then Taipei can too.