Workshop Advocates Nationwide Smoking Ban

Viet Nam should ban smoking in at least 80 percent of public places by 2010 and reduce its smoking rate among men to 30 percent from the current 53 percent, according to speakers at a workshop held on May 21 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The workshop, held by the HCM City Health Education and Communication Centre, was attended by employees at hospital, school and district offices.

Recent reports of the city’s Health Department show that more teenagers are smoking and that 53 percent of the city’s male population smoke, with only two percent of females smoking.

At the workshop, a draft action program called for the rate of male smokers to fall to 30 percent and to less than two percent for females. It also suggested that the rate drop to less than seven percent for people aged 15 to 24 by 2010.

The program calls for at least 80 percent of the city’s public places to be non-smoking over the next two years.

In response to the World Health Organization, which calls for the cessation of smoking among youth, the city will focus its communication program in schools and universities.

Truong Trong Hoang, director of the city’s health education and communication centre, said: “Smoking does nothing good for our health and information and communication will help bring our children a better life.”

The program draft sets out detailed activities to conduct during the next two years, including creating a team of communicators trained to raise public awareness about the dangers of smoking.

Source: VNA

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