Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Foundation launches Web site to help smokers quit

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Smokers who want to quit will be able to get online help from a new chinese-language anti-smoking Web site launched by the John Tung Foundation.

In addition to providing smokers with information and advice on how to quit, the Web site will also seek to engage the user with interactive features, such as forums and blogs, to provide more support, the foundation said.

Although the Web site is based in Taiwan, the foundation said it hopes to help smokers quit throughout the Chinese speaking world.

"Chinese speakers are not served very well when it comes to online help when quitting, because most quality support sites were in English up until now" said Jacob Jou (周逸衡), the chief executive officer of the foundation. "The Internet makes it possible for us to help not only the five million smokers in Taiwan but the 400 million Chinese-speaking smokers all over the world."

The site, launched yesterday, is currently only offered in traditional Chinese characters. It can be found at www.e-quit.org.

However, a version in simplified chinese is in the works and should be unveiled in October, Jou said.

The foundation is working closely with China's Association on Tobacco Control to help with the promotion of the site in China, he said.

According to Guo Fei-ran (郭斐然) of the National Taiwan University Hospital's department of family medicine, information and support is a great help to those trying to quit their cigarette habit.

"People who come to my anti-smoking clinics have a 25 percent to 30 percent chance of quitting for good, whereas the success rate for those who go it alone is about 5 percent," Guo said. "If the Web site can achieve a success rate of 10 percent to 15 percent, I would consider it very successful."

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