Monday, September 23 2019

VietNamNews

Youth risk cancer by smoking

Update: September, 07/2019 - 08:02

 

 

CHEAP AND DEADLY: A Hà Nội citizen buys cigarettes from a shop on Nguyễn Siêu Street. VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng

 

More than 100,000 people die each year from cancer in Việt Nam, and medical experts believe the fatality rate will rise because more and more young people are starting to smoke.

 

 

Việt Nam is among the cheapest places in the world to buy cigarettes, with one packet costing as little as VNĐ10,000 (US$0.4).

Doctors describe the price as way too low and are urging the government to rethink the cost of cigarettes by insisting on a price rise and adding tax.

"We think that the price of cigarettes in Việt Nam is too cheap compared to many other countries," said Prof Trần Văn Thuấn, director of Hospital K, Việt Nam's largest cancer medical centre.

"We believe that besides educating people about the harmful effects of cigarettes, we need to raise taxes and increase the price so that smokers not only see the harmful effects of cigarettes to themselves, their families and others, but also hesitate to spend money on them. Only then can the prevention of tobacco harm be effective."

According to Prof Thuấn Việt Nam has around 165,000 new cases of cancer each year with 115,000 people dying every 12 months from the disease.

Cancer fatalities are ten times higher than the number of people killed in traffic accidents. The director believes there are many reasons for the large number of cancer patients.

"Cigarettes alone account for more than 30 per cent of human cancer cases," he added. "Young people think it's cool. At first, young people start smoking to try and be like adults. They smoke, and then become addicted to cigarettes."

Dr Nguyễn Thị Thái Hòa, head of the National Hospital K's treatment department, said: “Based on our observations, the number of young people with lung cancer has increased recently, and so has the number of female patients."

One reason experts say more women are developing the disease is because they are victims of passive smoking.

"Our patients and their families are not actually aware of the danger of passive smoking, for example, their husbands and fathers smoke, and that automatically turns them into passive smokers without knowing it's one of the main causes of lung cancer," Dr Hòa said.

Even though cigarettes in Việt Nam cost a fraction of what they do elsewhere in the world, there are still many cases of cigarette smuggling in the country.

In the last four years more than three million packets of smuggled cigarettes have been seized by the authorities. Officials say more than VNĐ10 trillion ($431 million) of the state budget is lost each year because no tax is paid on cigarettes smuggled into the country.

But despite the best efforts of border patrols, very few violators are prosecuted. This, they say, is because anyone caught smuggling more than 1,500 packets faces criminal proceedings, so most gangs bring in under the penal threshold to avoid prosecution if they are apprehended

Six years ago, a law was passed in a bid to reduce tobacco use and outlaw the sale of cigarettes to children under the age of 18. The law on anti-harmful effects of tobacco also prevented smoking in places where children, pregnant women, the sick and elderly people were likely to be. 

Smoking was also banned in health centres, certain education facilities, places where children were and public transport. Other measures of the law included designated areas for smokers in tourist facilities which included correct signage and fire prevention equipment.

Despite all these measures, the director of Hospital K, Prof Thuấn, believes the best thing a smoker should do is simply quit. “We think smoking is a habit, not an addiction," he said.

"Alcohol can be addictive but smoking is just a habit. "This is a habit that we can completely give up with discipline." VNS


GLOSSARY

Doctors describe the price as way too low and are urging the government to rethink the cost of cigarettes by insisting on a price rise and adding tax.

Urging means encouraging.

To rethink something means to think about it again.

Insisting means saying something absolutely must happen.

"We believe that besides educating people about the harmful effects of cigarettes, we need to raise taxes and increase the price so that smokers not only see the harmful effects of cigarettes to themselves, their families and others, but also hesitate to spend money on them.”

To hesitate means to wait a bit and do something not too quickly.

Cancer fatalities are ten times higher than the number of people killed in traffic accidents.

Fatalities are deaths.

“They smoke, and then become addicted to cigarettes."

To be addicted to something means to need it and crave it more than anything else in the world.

One reason experts say more women are developing the disease is because they are victims of passive smoking.

Passive smoking happens when people breathe in the smoke that cigarette smokers breathe out.

Even though cigarettes in Việt Nam cost a fraction of what they do elsewhere in the world, there are still many cases of cigarette smuggling in the country.

A fraction is a portion.

Smuggling means taking something somewhere that is not supposed to be taken to that place. It often applies to things from other countries that require a tax payment. When such things are smuggled, they are sneaked in without the authorities seeing them.

Officials say more than VNĐ10 trillion ($431 million) of the state budget is lost each year because no tax is paid on cigarettes smuggled into the country.

A budget is money that is made available to spend.

But despite the best efforts of border patrols, very few violators are prosecuted.

Violators are people who break laws.

If people are prosecuted, they are brought to the courts.

This, they say, is because anyone caught smuggling more than 1,500 packets faces criminal proceedings, so most gangs bring in under the penal threshold to avoid prosecution if they are apprehended

The penal threshold is the dividing line between being punished for something and not being punished.

Apprehended means confronted and arrested.

“We think smoking is a habit, not an addiction," he said.

Habits are things people simply do, over and over again.

 

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. A type of smoking that is causing many women to become ill.
  2. Trips along the borders by authorities, looking for smugglers.
  3. Older people that younger people try to be like when they start smoking.
  4. The best thing a smoker can do, according to Prof Thuấn.
  5. What many people mistakenly view smoking as.

 

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ANSWERS: 1. Passive; 2. Patrols; 3. Adults; 4. Quit; 5. Habit.

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