Vietnam among 15 nations with highest smoker number in world

With about 40,000 people dying of smoking-caused diseases per annum, Vietnam is one of the 15 countries with the highest number of smokers in the world, a health official has announced, citing the World Health Organization (WHO) Office in Vietnam.

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Fund for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms, which is under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, released the figures at a conference on the enforcement of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on November 3.

That means about 100 Vietnamese die every day of illnesses resulting from smoking, Dr. Khue said.

The doctor, who is also head of the ministry’s Department for Medical Examination and Treatment Management, told the conference that around 15.3 million adults in Vietnam are smokers.

Smokers make up 47.4% of men and 1.4% of women in Vietnam, the official said, adding that for every two men, there is one smoker.

vietnam among 15 nations with highest smoker number in world hinh 0
A Vietnamese man is seen smoking in this file photo.
Photo: Tuoi Tre

In addition, 33 million non-smokers in Vietnam are considered passive smokers, as they breathe air contaminated with tobacco smoke at home.

Two-thirds of these people are women and children.

In addition, five million non-smokers are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke in their workplaces, Dr. Khue said.

Currently, smoking-caused diseases kill about 40,000 Vietnamese people per year, and the figure may rise to 70,000 in 2030, the official said, citing WHO statistics.

Smoking is among the leading causes of mortality in men in Vietnam, with nearly 11% of the total deaths stemming from smoking-related ailments, according to data published by the health sector.

Statistics at Hanoi-based K Hospital show that smokers account for 96.8% of the total number of lung cancer patients treated there.

Smoking is also the leading cause of death in the world and is responsible for the deaths of nearly six million people throughout globe every year, the WHO said.

The smoke from a burning cigarette contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia (1, 2, 5), the US National Cancer Institute said.

Among these 250, at least 69 can cause cancer, the institute added.