Saturday, June 22, 2024

Vietnam Takes Action to Combat Tobacco Use Growth Trend

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In a significant health initiative, Vietnam has ramped up its efforts to combat the rising trend of tobacco use, highlighted during events organized by the Ministry of Health in Hanoi. These events were part of the observance of World No Tobacco Day on May 31st and National No Smoking Week from May 25th to 31st, featuring representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vietnam’s Minister of Health, Dao Hong Lan.

Increasing Health and Economic Burdens

Minister Dao Hong Lan emphasized the substantial health and economic burdens imposed by both traditional tobacco products and newer alternatives like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco. These products affect not only the individual smokers but also their families and the broader society.

Nationwide Anti-Tobacco Campaigns

In line with World No Tobacco Day, Vietnam launched several significant activities including the “Vietnamese Youth Say No to Tobacco and E-cigarettes” campaign. Additionally, the country hosted sports events like a virtual marathon to promote a “Smoke-Free Vietnam Environment.”

The prevalence of regular cigarette smoking among adult males has shown a decline from 47.4% in 2010 to 38.9% in 2023. Notably, smoking rates among adolescents have also decreased, with significant reductions observed in both the 13-17 and 13-15 age groups. However, the Ministry of Health has raised concerns about the sharp increase in the use of new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, especially among young people, with usage rates in the 13-15 age group doubling from 3.5% in 2022 to 8% in 2023.

Proposed Tobacco Control Policies

Angela Pratt, the WHO representative in Vietnam, proposed stringent tobacco control policies. These include a complete ban on nicotine products and new tobacco products to shield the youth from their harmful effects. Additionally, she suggested that the Vietnamese government should consider increasing tobacco taxes to make cigarettes less affordable. This measure is aimed at deterring young people from starting to smoke and encouraging current smokers to quit.

“We need to make it more difficult for young people to start smoking or continue smoking. Increasing tobacco taxes is the quickest, most effective way to achieve this goal. Banning e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, as well as raising tobacco taxes, will help Vietnam achieve its health goals and international commitments to sustainable development.”

This comprehensive approach underscores Vietnam’s commitment to improving public health and fulfilling its international obligations towards sustainable development. For further details, you can read the full report on the news source.

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