It is estimated that about one-third of all American adults are smokers. In 1985, cigarette smoking rates among the adult male and female populations were 33% and 28% respectively.
Another study of cigarette smoking among American high school seniors found that about 67.6% of the subjects had tried it and nearly one-third (29.6%) smoked at least some cigarettes in the past month of the study. It is estimated that Americans smoke 600 billion cigarettes each year.
According to the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau, one out of three males aged 16 and above smoke in the R.O.C. The percentage of male smokers in this country was close to that in the United States, while the proportion of female smokers in the R.O.C. was less than that of female smokers in the United States. However, there is a tendency towards an increase in the number of female smokers recently. Another telephone survey in the Taipei metropolitan area found that 24.1% of those aged 14 and above, including males and females, were current smokers.
Among the smokers, one-tenth smoked more than one pack a day. Another half of the smokers smoked between 10 to 20 cigarettes per day. The Republic of China opened its market for foreign cigarettes companies in 1987. These companies are allowed to advertise and promote their products as well.
These activities will further complicate the smoking problem in the R.O.C. For example, the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes spent over 2.5 million dollars on all kinds of promotions and, therefore, sales increased more than 10% in a 6-month period. Researchers found that 82.6% of smokers smoked imported cigarettes only. Among these smokers, 12.3% started smoking recently after the opening of the market to foreign cigarette manufacturers.