WHO award for Dr. Ly Ngoc Kinh

The World Health Organization is honouring Dr Ly Ngoc Kinh, Senior Consultant and Former Director of Vietnam Steering Committee On Smoking and Health (VINACOSH) with the "World No Tobacco Day 2011 award" for his efforts in controlling the use of tobacco in Vietnam.

                          Dr Ly Ngoc Kinh

In its citation, WHO said Dr Ly Ngoc Kinh had made great contributions towards the campaign in ratifying the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Vietnam and helping draft the National Action Plan for Implementation of the WHO FCTC in 2009.  He is now a member of the drafting group for the tobacco control law that awaits approval by the National Assembly in 2012.

More than 5 million people worldwide die each year from tobacco-related diseases, more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The WHO FCTC was developed in response to a global tobacco epidemic. To date, more than 170 countries have ratified the FCTC. Vietnam was amongst the first countries to have ratified the FCTC in 2004.

• Tobacco related illnesses are a leading cause of death in Vietnam with 40,000 people dying each year, more than a hundred persons per day.
• Vietnam is among the countries with the highest male smoking rates in the world: 47.4% of adult men smoke (GATS 2010).
• WHO estimates that tobacco related diseases will kill half of those who smoke regularly.
• The production of cigarettes in Vietnam rose steadily from 2000.  At the current tax rate, when a cigarette pack is sold to smokers the tax accounts for less than 45% of the retail price, as opposed to 80% under World Bank recommendations.
• The average price of a cigarette pack is only 5,500 VND (about 0.29 cents) making Vietnam one of the cheapest countries to buy cigarettes.  The recent GATS survey found that 73% of adults say they support tobacco tax increase (GATS 2010).
• Among adult non-smokers, 67% are exposed to tobacco smoke at home and 49% at workplaces (GATS 2010).

By Uyen Phuong

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