The meeting gathered representatives from key tobacco control organizations in Vietnam and its development partners.
The meeting was attended by Head of the Bloomberg Philanthropies public health program Kelly Henning, and experts from the Health Bridge Foundation, World Health Organization, Vital Strategies organization and Chicago University.
Director of the Vietnam fund for tobacco harms prevention, Luong Ngoc Khue, made speech at the meeting. Photo: infonet.vn
Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Vietnam fund for tobacco harm prevention, said Vietnam has built a network on the prevention of tobacco harm in all 63 provinces and cities. The localities have built non-smoking areas and the cities of Ha Long, Hue, Nha Trang and Hoi An are developing smoke-free tourism areas.
About 1,200 secondary and high schools and nearly 130 colleges and universities nationwide have banned smoking, Khue said.
However, he noted that at present, nearly half of Vietnamese men smoke. It is a high figure that needs to be reduced, he stressed.
At the meeting, experts discussed the enforcement of the law on the prevention and control of tobacco harm in Vietnam. Some proposals include increases in tobacco prices and import duties, inspections and punishment of violations in the implementation of a smoke-free environment and Vietnam’s program on tobacco prevention and control.
According to Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, tobacco costs Vietnamese smokers VND31 trillion (US$1.36 billion) per year.
Treatment for five major diseases - lung cancer, gastrointestinal-respiratory cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attacks and strokes, caused by smoking, is estimated to cost VND24 trillion (US$1.05 billion).