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Apr 05, 2021 / 20:26

Hotels and restaurants join in “No Smoking” campaign in Hanoi

Restaurants and hotels will build an image of a professional, civilized, and fresh environment for tourists.

Some 200 restaurants and hotels in Hanoi have responded to the "No Smoking" campaign with a commitment to strictly observe the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms.

The campaign, jointly launched by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Vietnam, aims to encourage restaurants and hotels to build up a smoke-free environment in the capital city. 

Addressing the event held in Hanoi on April 3, WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park said every year, eight million people died from cigarette smoking around the world.

In Vietnam, 15 million adults smoke while the number of people exposed to second-hand smoke is 75 million.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people each year in the country while around 6,000 people died from secondhand smoke, the WHO official said, urging an end to “the deaths of these blameless victims” of passive smoking.

“WHO called upon you to begin this with implementing smoke-free restaurants and hotels, which include simple acts such as placing “No Smoking” signs at visible areas of hotels and restaurants,” the WHO representative told restaurant and hotel owners.

He also suggested that inspections from law enforcement units should be conducted more frequently to achieve better compliance.

 (From left to right) WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park, Vietnamese actor Xuan Bac, owner of San Fu Lou-Cantonese Kitchen in Hoan Kiem district and Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue participate in placing “No Smoking” sign at the restaurant. Photo: Minh Quyet

For his part, Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Medical Examination and Treatment Management Department under the Ministry of Health and director of the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund fund stressed that building a smoke-free tourism environment is an effective way to ensure the rights of non-smokers to breathe fresh air.

It also helps reduce the risks of illnesses caused by exposure to tobacco smoke for the tourism sector's personnel and tourists, reduce direct and indirect medical costs for examinations and treatment of diseases related to smoking, Khue added.

“According to a 2020 study conducted by the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund, the rate of secondhand smoking in these establishments remains high, with 80% of customers exposed to smoking in restaurants, and 65% in hotels,” said the health official.

In her speech, Do Hong Xoan, deputy head of the Vietnam Tourism Association and Chairwoman of the Vietnam Hotel Association, highlighted the significance of this campaign for not only restaurants and hotels, but also for the community.

Xoan added that smoke-free environments, including restaurants and hotels, will build an image of a professional, civilized, and fresh environment for tourists and beneficial for the health of hospitality staff and customers. Such environment will surely attract more domestic and international tourists.

Joining the campaign is an effective way to enforce the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms, Xoan affirmed.

After the launch, “No Smoking” signs were hung at the Hilton Hanoi Opera at 1 Le Thanh Tong street and San Fu Lou-Cantonese Kitchen at 6 Phan Chu Trinh street.