Tobacco in Taiwan

I heartily agree with the views expressed in the Opinion page article "End Government Support of US Tobacco Abroad," April 13. Having lived in Taiwan for three years, I would like to add the following.

First, there seems to be a correlation between the increased import and promotion of foreign tobacco products and tobacco addiction among adolescents in Taiwan. According to a recent Taiwan newspaper article, the smoking rate among 15- to 18-year-olds increased from less than 20 percent in 1985 (before the liberalization of foreign tobacco imports), to 33 percent in 1991.

Second, out of a concern for marine wildlife, the US is putting great pressure on Taiwan to prevent the use of drift nets by its fisherman. Yet the US opposes, just as strongly, Taiwan's enactment of laws controlling products found to cause death in humans. Just what kind of message are we sending? Jennifer O'Neal, Falls Church, Va.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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