More than 200,000 premature deaths could be avoided in the next 30 years if key tobacco control measures under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) were fully implemented in Viet Nam.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Viet Nam Graham Harrison made the comment at a meeting held yesterday in Ha Noi to mark World No Tobacco Day (May 31).
"WHO is delighted to see that a draft tobacco control law will soon be brought to hearing by the National Assembly. We look forward to seeing a strong tobacco control law issued by the National Assembly to fully implement the FCTC," said Harrison. This year WHO has called on all nations to strictly implement the tobacco prevention measures they committed to in the FCTC.
The WHO recommends a set of six tobacco control measures under the FCTC framework including: monitoring tobacco use, protecting people from second-hand smoke, offering help to quit smoking, warnings about the dangers of tobacco use, enforcing the ban on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorship, and raising the tobacco tax.
Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen urged ministries, sectors, organisations, individuals and the community to make greater efforts to prevent the use of tobacco in order to "minimise losses for all people, families and the whole society."
He said the ministry would submit the draft Law on Tobacco Control to the National Assembly for approval in May 2012.
According to the health ministry, nearly 48 per cent of all males in the country used tobacco in 2010, a decrease of 9 per cent over the past ten years. The rate among females was 1.4 per cent. Each year, 40,000 people die from tobacco related diseases. Smoking annually causes more than 5.4 millions deaths globally among active smokers and more than 600,000 second-hand smoking deaths. — VNS