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Taiwan health minister says he is 'giving serious thought' to quitting smoking

Chen admits smoking an old habit he has found difficult to kick

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who doubles as head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said on Friday (Nov. 12), “Now I am giving serious thought” to Health Promotion Administration (HPA) Director-General Wu Chao-chun’s (吳昭軍) offer to help him quit smoking.

A video of a maskless Chen drinking and singing at a private gathering last year recently went viral on social media, with rumors flying that he had even smoked indoors.

On Thursday (Nov. 11), Chen said that he has been smoking for years and admitted that it’s a bad habit he has found difficult to kick. Wu said that if Chen is willing to quit smoking, the HPA will do its best to help, CNA reported.

When asked by a reporter during Friday’s COVID-19 briefing whether he would quit smoking and become an anti-smoking ambassador, Chen chuckled and said, “You’re more meddlesome than my wife” before adding that his wife had also recommended that he kick the habit, the report said.

With regard to the fact that he was not wearing a mask at the party, Chen emphasized that it took place in June last year after restrictions on indoor gatherings had been lifted following a lull of 56 days without a confirmed COVID-19 case, per CNA.

Updated : 2022-01-27 14:27 GMT+08:00