The campaign will increase awareness on the feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including governments and the public, can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco.
Though the figure of Vietnamese smokers has been on a downtrend, the Southeast Asian country is still one of nations with high rates of tobacco smokers in the world.
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco smoking is the cause of millions of death because of heart diseases and stroke. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 900,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
There are around 16 million Vietnamese male adult smokers plus women and teenagers. Tobacco is sold rampantly even a kid can buy it in public places and amusement places.
Subsequently, the country is carrying burden of tobacco-related illness and losses.
The Ministry of Health said that Vietnam is facing escalation of non-communicable diseases such as lung cancer, Coronary thrombosis, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In addition to spending VND31 trillion ($1.3 billion) on tobacco, Vietnam loses VND23 trillion on treatment and loss due to illness and early deaths caused by lung cancer, gastrointestinal –respiratory cancer, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Accordingly, WHO called for timely acts to reduce infection and deaths caused by tobacco-related heart diseases.
For Vietnam, the government and relevant agencies must enhance implementation of tobacco prevention law to decrease smokers and infection cases, deaths caused by tobacco-related diseases. It needs to hike tobacco tariff and tighten control over sales, advertisement of tobacco as well as impose harsh penalties on those who smoke in public places.