Country to decrease adult smokers from 47.4 percent to 39 percent by 2020

Vietnam target to decrease the number of adult smokers from 47.4 percent to 39 percent by 2020, said Head of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department under the Ministry of Health Luong Ngoc Khue at a march on May 30 in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the World No Tobacco Day and the National Non-tobacco Week from May 25 to 31.

Young people march to mark the World No Tobacco Day (Photo: SGGP)

In addition to banning advertisement on tobacco the country has also planned to increase the tax rate on tobacco from the current 65 percent to 70 percent as of January 1, 2016.

Mr. Khue said that the government tried to have a healthy living environment without tobacco in schools, hospitals, offices and public places.

Vietnam is currently one of 15 nations with highest number of smokers in the world. One in two adults in the country currently smokes cigarettes.

According to a global study of Vietnamese adult smokers, the rate of male smokers is 47.4 percent and female is 1.4 percent. Two-third of women and children usually inhale smoke at homes.

Moreover, 33 million Vietnamese non-smokers must inhale smoke in public places such as bus stations.

Understanding the importance of tobacco prevention, the Vietnamese government decided to join the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) among adult smokers in 2004. After 10 year of implementation of the Framework, the Southeast Asian has achieved encouraging results including reduced rate of smokers, issuance of tobacco prevention regulation, issuance of the National Anti-Tobacco Strategy by 2020 as well as non-smoking environment models.

According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of lung cancer patients and 75 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary patients are caused by smoking.

By Nguyen Trung - Translated by Anh Quan

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