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Smoking rate declines in Vietnam: Health Minister

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The smoking rate in Vietnam has fallen four years after the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm was enacted, according to a report by the Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.

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According to Tien, the law has shown positive results in a survey of smokers 2016. The rate of smoking men decreased from 47.4% to 45.3% and the rate of smoking women decreased from 1.4% to 1.1%. The rate of smokers in urban areas declined from 23.3% to 20.6%.

The passive smoking rate also declined greatly compared to 2010. This rate declined from 55.9% to 42.6% at workplaces, from 54.3% to 37.9% at universities, from 34.4% to 19.4% on public transportations, from 22.3% to 16.1% at schools and from 73.1% to 59.9% at homes.

More people are trying to quit smoking. The number of smokers that received consultancy to give up increased from 29.7% to 40.5%.

Luong Ngoc Khue, Director General of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department under the Ministry of Health, after the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm and its fund was set up and took effect in 2013, public awareness had been raised and more smoke-free environments had been implemented at workplaces.

The fund management board have carried out various research on the use of tobacco and its effect on public health as well as socio-economic development. Phone anti-smoking advice lines and pilot projects at health clinics were carried out.

61.2% of people believed that smoking could cause heart disease and lung cancer, an increase of 5.7%. As a result, 90.3% of asked people realised that passive smoking could cause harmful effects, an increase of 3.3%.

The advertisements and discount programmes have been further limited in recent years. The fund has supported 26 ministries and departments and 10 hospitals with prevention programmes.

However, Vietnam is still among the top 15 leading countries having the highest rates of smokers. 40,000 people die of smoking-related causes every year. According to the World Health Organisation, 73% of the deaths in Vietnam are caused by non-communicable diseases and smoking is the main cause.



Source: dtinews