Vietnam Time

3/27/2018 7:00:16 PM

HCM City plans activities for tobacco harm control and prevention

Training on how to help local residents quit smoking will be provided to staff at ward- and commune-level People’s Committees by the Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health.

Illustrative image. (Source: VNA)

Dr. Trinh Van Hiep, head of the municipal Department of Health’s the board on preventing harm caused by cigarette smoking, said that it’s difficult for many people to quit smoking even if they want to.

Hiep said at a last week meeting on preventing the effects of cigarettes that smokers need assistance from wards and communes involved in the programme.

After receiving consultations, smokers will be treated at eight hospitals in the city that provide this service, he said.

Knowledge along with determination and assistance are the keys to quitting smoking, he added.

The city also wants more wards and communes to become smoke-free, Hiep said, adding that communication activities would be carried out at all households.

Each family member should have a deep understanding of the Law on Tobacco Harm Control and Prevention and should encourage their relatives to quit or never begin smoking.

Residents will be told that if there is a pregnant woman or children in the family, smokers should go outside, and that smoking at parties among families should not be encouraged.

Owners of restaurants, hotels coffee shops, and production workshops in every ward and commune will be encouraged to ban smoking, he said.

According to a report from the health harm prevention board, 24 wards and communes in the city are smoke-free.

“No Smoking” signs can be seen on many apartment buildings, hospitals, parks and other buildings.

Cigarettes should be sold only via retail regulated under the Law on Tobacco Harm Control and Prevention, which means that sites selling cigarettes should not advertise and sell to people under 18 years old.

The programme on preventing harm caused by cigarette smoking also aims to continue developing smoke-free environments at hospitals, schools, and state offices. The city has more than 350 restaurants and hotels that ban smoking.

People’s committees in the city’s districts will set up inspection teams to check the implementation of the tobacco harm control and prevention programme. An interdisciplinary inspection team will be set up by April this year.

A “Not Smoking in the Park” poster seen at a park in HCM City. (VNS Photo Gia Loc)

The Health Ministry of Vietnam has won an award of the Bloomberg Philanthropies for its efforts in monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, which were announced at a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa on March 7th, as part of the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health.

The five other winners came from El Salvador, Mexico, Senegal, Uganda and Argentina.

The Vietnamese Health Ministry actively worked with other ministries, agencies and socio-political organisations to draft a law on the prevention of tobacco’s harms. The law, which has been adopted by the National Assembly, bans all smoking in indoor public space along with tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship, among other stipulations. 

The ministry also helped with the establishment of the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund with mandatory contributions from tobacco production and trading companies.

A global survey revealed that the smoking rate among adult men has dropped to 45.3 per cent from the previous 47.4 per cent. The rate of passive smoking in working places also reduced to 42.6 per cent from 55.9 per cent, while passive smoking at home declined to 59.9 percent from the previous 73.1 per cent./.

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