Vietnam one of 15 nations with highest rate of smokers

Vietnam is still named one of 15 nations in the world with the highest rate of cigarette smokers. This was released at a meeting held by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 28 in Hanoi to review 10 years carrying out of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) among adult smokers, and in some countries, among adult non-smokers and among youth.

With WHO's figure, there has been an upward trend of non-infection diseases in the country lately. These non-infection diseases such as stroke, coronary thrombosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer are leading diseases to cause deaths among male and female.

Noteworthy, over 75 percent of deaths in Vietnam are caused by non-infection diseases and tobacco is one of the main causes.

Jeffery Kobza, the acting WHO's Representative to Vietnam, pointed out that though tobacco is the main cause of many diseases and deaths, people can avoid them by stop smoking.

Every year, In Viet Nam, tobacco claims more than 40,000 lives and healthcare costs and productivity loss due to tobacco use are estimated at more than US$1 billionp. In the world, there are around 1.3 billion smokers and it is forecast that the figure will be 1.6 billion by 2020.

Deputy Health Ministry Nguyen Thi Xuyen, vice chairwoman of the national Anti-Tobacco Program said that after 10 years of implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, there has been much progress in carrying out a non-smoking environment in Vietnam and get much consent from many ministries, agencies and class of society.

However, Vietnam has still faced difficulties in tobacco control because of its cheap price and a high smoking rate among adult males. Accordingly, tobacco control will need more efforts and collaboration from ministries, sectors, provinces, and cities across the country.

Vietnam joined WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November, 11, 2004 pledging to carry out measures against smoking to protect present and future generations from damage caused by tobacco.

On this occasion, Professor Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Vietnamese Health Minister was awarded an Honor Prize by WHO for her great contribution in tobacco prevention mission.

By Khanh Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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