More than 2,000 delegates from 180 member nations of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as well as the United Nations and non-governmental organisations were brought together at the event.
A number of topics are under spotlight, including the implementation of the FCTC and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
Emerging issues such as the control and prevention of new tobacco products like the electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS), along with matters pertaining to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, are also being deliberated at the meeting.
Director of the Ministry of Health’s Fund for Tobacco Harms Prevention Luong Ngoc Khue said Vietnam will share accomplishments in the field and the expansion of non-smoke city models.
The Vietnamese delegation is expected to coordinate with the Convention Secretariat to host a symposium on addressing gender-specific risks when implementing tobacco control strategies, he added.
The FCTC entered into force in February 2005. Vietnam was the first nations to join the convention.
As of January 1, 2015, 180 out of the 192 WHO member countries participated in the FCTC, making up 89 percent of the global population.
The biennial COP meeting is intended to review the implementation of the FCTC and map out orientations for global anti-tobacco programmes.
According to experts, smoking and passive smoking kill over 3.5 million people in 1998 and if this “pandemic” is ineffectively controlled, the death toll could increase by at least 10 million by 2030, 70% of which are likely to occur in developing countries.
Statistics showed that there are close to 1.3 billion smokers around the world. The WHO says this figure will hit 1.6 billion by 2020.
Vietnam was awarded by the WHO in 2015 for the positive outcomes in tobacco control.