Participants at the meeting held yesterday in Hà Nội to respond to the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and the National No Tobacco Week (May 25-31). VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết
HÀ NỘI — Stopping smoking at an early age can effectively prevent diseases, a top official has said.
Quitting smoking would help create a healthy environment for each individual, family and society, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn, at a meeting held yesterday in Hà Nội to respond to World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and National No Tobacco Week (May 25-31).
“Quit smoking today,” Sơn said.
He added that it was a message the ministry wanted to send to every smoker in the country.
This year, the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day campaign focuses on protecting children and young people from exploitation by the tobacco industry.
Speaking at the meeting, Sơn urged all ministries, sectors and localities nationwide to strengthen their implementation of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms.
Since the tobacco law came into effect in May 2013, the smoking rate among men decreased by about 2.1 per cent and women by 0.3 per cent.
Through the event, the ministry’s Tobacco Harms Prevention and Control Fund wants to warn the community about the health consequences of tobacco use and the importance of protecting children and young people from tobacco.
Medical experts said 90 per cent of lung cancer patients were smokers and if a person smoked 20 cigarettes per day, they would face 26 times higher risk of getting lung cancer than non-smokers.
According to the WHO, more than 40 million young people aged 13-15 have already started to use tobacco in the world.
Countries can protect children from industry exploitation by putting in place strict tobacco control laws, including regulating products like e-cigarettes that have already begun to hook a new generation of young people, the WHO said.
Lương Ngọc Khuê, head of the Health Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment said currently, the numbers of students and youngsters using e-cigarettes was increasing in Việt Nam.
Advertising campaigns for e-cigarettes were aimed at students and youngsters by showing the products' cool designs, convenience and new flavours that made young people overlook the risks the products could pose to their health, Khuê said.
New tobacco products also had many components harmful to human health, which were difficult to control, he said.
The ministry plans to propose the National Assembly consider putting e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products on the list of goods banned from trading and consumption.
It is estimated Việt Nam has about 13 million smokers and is one of the top 15 countries for smoking worldwide.
Every year, about 40,000 people die from smoking in Việt Nam.—VNS