Symposium urges youths to quit smoking

The Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU), the Health Ministry’s Fund for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms and the Global Public Health Organisation Vital Strategies held a symposium in Hanoi on May 31 to discuss the harmful effects of e-cigarettes in schools.

The event attracted the participation of over 600 students from the Hanoi University of Industry. They had a chance to join a mini-game to learn about the detrimental effects of e-cigarettes.

Nguyen Tuan Lam, an expert in non-communicable disease prevention at the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s office in Vietnam cited data from the WHO as saying that there are currently about 20,000 flavorings in e-cigarettes, many of which are yet to be fully evaluated for health hazards.

Nguyen Thi Thu Huong from the fund also warned that e-cigarettes could contain drugs that cause addiction, especially among young people.

She said the fund recently worked with Bach Mai Hospital to set up a tobacco addiction counseling centre with the hotline 1800-6606 (free from 8am to 10pm). Those in need could also receive direct counseling services in person when coming there.

Head of the Office of the HCYU Central Committee Nguyen Quoc Huy said the committee has held various activities to raise public awareness of the effort, including disseminating the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms among officials, youth union members and young people; sports events promoting a tobacco-free environment, stage and video clip design competitions, and building online and social media communication products.

Via the above events, a number of initiatives have been launched and showed positive results, creating a driving force for HCYU officials, youth union members and young people to actively and responsibly join in the fight against tobacco use, he added.