Deputy PM: Smoking causes deaths and poverty

Smoking is one of the primary causes of death and poverty in many countries around the globe, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan.

He was speaking at a meeting in response to World No Tobacco Day and National No Tobacco Week (May 22-31).

In the face of teenage smokers growing in large numbers, Vietnam has adopted the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control with commitments to protect present and future generations from the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, he said.

Deputy PM Nhan called on ministries and agencies, socio-political organizations and people to actively participate in anti-smoking activities and support the NA’s adoption of a draft law on preventing and combating tobacco smoking.

He also asked the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Information and Communications to work with related ministries and agencies to step up the anti-smoking communications campaign.

According to a WHO report, six million people die of tobacco use and other 600,000 die of passive-smoking every year. It estimates that by 2020, eight million people will die of smoking every year, 70 percent of them from developing countries.

In Vietnam, tobacco kills 40,000 people annually and the figure is estimated to reach 70,000 by 2030 if no effective measures are taken. There are as many as 15.3 million smokers (accounting for 47.4 percent of adults) while 33 million non-smokers are exposed to tobacco at work and five million others at home.

To minimize the danger of smoking to human health, socio-economic development, the National Program on the Prevention of Smoking has been launched nationwide.