These figures were released on May 24 during a meeting at the Hanoi Opera House that was held in response to World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and a week-long national anti-smoking campaign.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said that Vietnam has banned tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship since 2000. This is also stipulated in the anti-smoking law approved by the National Assembly in June 2012.
Xuyen noted that relevant agencies have worked closely with each other to deal with violations of the law and reduce the number of smokers and tobacco-related fatalities in the country.
Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam said that the ban on tobacco advertising has helped decrease the number of smokers and proved effective in reducing demand for tobacco.
However, they warned that unless tougher measures are implemented, by 2030, more than 8 million people around the world will die from the negative effects of smoking, about 70% of them in developing countries.
The world's largest health policy-making body vowed to support countries in controlling their tobacco industries and minimizing the negative effects of smoking on public health.