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World anti-tobacco day spurs national crackdown

Update: May, 27/2013 - 10:12

HA NOI (VNS)— A ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship would be a priority in Viet Nam in an effort to reduce the high cost of health care and human suffering caused by tobacco use, said Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen.

Xuyen was speaking at a meeting on Saturday in Ha Noi to mark World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and to launch National No Tobacco Week (May 25-31).

"Viet Nam's membership of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the adoption of the Law on Tobacco Harms Prevention and Control has demonstrated the country's commitment and determination to protect people's health from smoking," said Xuyen.

This year's day aimed at unmasking the tobacco industry's strategy to broaden its market and increase the number of smokers, Xuyen pointed out.

She called for close co-operation with the health sector to implement the Law on Tobacco Harms Prevention and Control through communication campaigns on the harmful effects of tobacco.

She also asked that the law banning tobacco in work places and public areas to be strictly enforced.

The health sector announced it would focus its activities on inspections and strengthening the public's awareness on tobacco harm prevention.

All violations of tobacco advertisement and smoking ban laws would be treated strictly, it said.

The World Health Organisation said tobacco use was among the main causes of disease and death in the world, with nearly 6 million dying each year. It was estimated that the number would increase to 8 million by 2030.

Viet Nam has a high incidence of disease and fatalities due to smoking, with more than 40,000 tobacco-related deaths recorded every year. — VNS

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