Work to create a smoke-free environment

Luong Ngoc Khue, director general of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department and director of the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund speaks about his organisation’s efforts to create a smoke-free environment.

Work to create a smoke-free environment

A man smokes a cigarette at a bus shelter near My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi. Vietnam remains among the 15 nations having the highest number of tobacco smokers in the world.

What success has Vietnam has gained since the first comprehensive tobacco control law came into effect on May 1, 2013?

Vietnam has recorded a lot of changes in public awareness about the negative impacts of tobacco. Since the law came into effect, the percentage of male smokers has dropped by 2.1 per cent while that of the female smokers dropped by 0.3 per cent. Also the passive smoking percentage has dropped considerably – from 42.6 per cent in the work place to 13.3 per cent; from 37.9 per cent in universities and colleges to 16.4 per cent; in the family environment, the ratio dropped from 59.9 per cent to 13.2 per cent.

How do you respond to a report saying that by now the implementation of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms is still very limited?

I couldn’t agreement more. Though we have achieved many successes in the prevention and control of tobacco, Vietnam remains among the 15 nations having the highest number of tobacco smokers in the world. According to the latest report, some 45.3 per cent of Vietnamese men are tobacco smokers. And it is reported that every year, Vietnam has about 40,000 people who dies of an illness relating to smoking. Though Vietnam has the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm, yet, tobacco is available in almost all places. This is something that Vietnam should put more effort to enforce the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms in reality. Particularly in areas surrounding hotels, restaurants, schools and hospitals.

What should be done to people who are found smoking in a place where it is prohibited?

The Ministry of Health has submitted a proposal to the Government to levy a heavy fine on smokers who are found violating the smoking law. We hope, pretty soon the Government will start to impose heavy sanctions on those who violate the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms. The Fund on the Prevention and Against Tobacco Harms will soon develop an app on mobile phones to receive reports of people violating the law.

What is the driving force for the World Health Organization (WHO) to decide to observe 2020 as the year to protect the younger generation from the negative impacts of tobacco products?

We all know, young people are the future of all nations in the world and they are the most vulnerable people to tobacco advertisements. Through this topic, WHO has called on all countries worldwide to take immediate actions to help young people not to be seduced by tobacco advertisements and to understand the negative impacts of tobacco on their health.

 

Can you give us a real picture of the young Vietnamese smokers today?

The percentage of young Vietnamese smokers has dropped quite considerably. However, the number of Vietnamese young people, particularly among the students smoking e-cigarettes has increased. According to a recent survey conducted by WHO in 21 provinces and cities nationwide, the percentage of students smoking has dropped from 4 per cent to 3.6 per cent. Yet the number of e-cigarette smokers has increased by 2.6 per cent. What’s more important is the new cigarette products are rather attractive to the young generation. That’s why they don’t care much about negative impacts on their health the new product may have.

What should Vietnam do to make the campaign against smoking cigarettes more successful?

E-cigarettes have been banned in many countries. And right now, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has conducted a study and come up with a proposal to include e-cigarettes in the list of banned items - in both business and consumption. At the same time, the MoH has also submitted a proposal to revise the Law on Special Consumption Tax to increase the consumption tax on cigarettes.

Meanwhile, the MoH has also asked the Ministry of Information and Communications to take strong measures to control cigarette advertisement on the internet.  VNS

Campaign on dangers of smoking carried out at bus stations

Campaign on dangers of smoking carried out at bus stations

An information campaign on the dangers of smoking and smoking in public is being carried out at eight bus and ferry stations in HCM City from May 2020 to June 2021 on the occasion of the World Smoke-Free Day on May 31.

Hanoi, HCM City build smoke-free environments in public areas

Hanoi, HCM City build smoke-free environments in public areas

Hanoi and HCM City are piloting programmes to reduce smoking.

Ha Long, a smoke-free tourism city

Ha Long, a smoke-free tourism city

As one of the top tourist attractions in northern Vietnam, Ha Long city is working to improve its service quality and protect the environment.

 
 

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