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“I see every single day as a treasure waiting for me to cherish it”—Dr David Yen
Dr David Yen, one of the three “grandfathers” of tobacco control in Asia (along with the late Dr Takeshi Hirayama in Japan and Dr Weng Xin Zhi in China), died in Taipei on 6 September 2002 at the age of 82 years, leaving a wife and four children.
Dr Yen was born to a well-off family in Shanghai in 1921. After graduating from Suzhou University Law School in 1943, he was a research fellow in economics at the Imperial University of Kyoto from 1943 to 1944, and then obtained a doctorate from Indiana University’s School of Law in 1949. After finishing his studies, Yen went into business in Brazil, then finally settled in Taiwan in 1965. He mastered six languages including Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
He started smoking at the age of 11 years and chain smoked 40 cigarettes a day for over 40 years. This led to removal of his right lung …