The prevalence of tobacco use in Hanoi is relatively high among men at about 47.4%, as many smokers are not aware of the negative health effects of smoking while others find it hard to quit the habit, said the Hanoi Steering Committee on Smoking and Health.
The city has undertaken various measures to prevent and control the negative effects of tobacco use. However, smoking is still rampant in many offices, stations and public transport means though it is technically prohibited in such places.
In addition, management officials of many organisations have not paid enough attention to controlling smoking at work, as many of them are regular smokers themselves.
Authorities at local levels lack experience in organising and managing anti-smoking activities and struggle to handle violations.
Since early this year, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade has focused on controlling illegal tobacco trade, particularly at small shops along Nguyen Sieu, Hang Hanh, Hang Buom and Le Thai To streets.
The city’s Market Watch Team has busted three smuggling operations, seizing nearly 13,000 cigarette packs during the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, smoke-free environments have been established at all medical establishments and “no smoking” signs have been put up at stations.
Director of the city’s Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien stressed the need for the city to step up communication campaigns on the harmful effects of tobacco use and the benefits of smoke-free environments in order to raise public awareness of the issue and urge management officials to take more responsibility in the programme.