The number of Vietnamese men smoking decreased during the 2014-2018 period.
According to the report by the Fund for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm, under the Ministry of Health, from 2014 to 2018, public awareness about smoking had increased greatly. The smoking rate among men decreased by 2.1% to 45.3%.
The smoking rate among women also decreased by 0.3% to 1.1% and the smoking rate in the urban areas decreased by 2.7% to 20.6%. There was also a decline in the smoking rate among adolescents.
As a result, passive smoking rates also decreased in most locations. This rate decreased from 55.9% to 42.6% at workplaces, from 54.3% to 37.9% at universities, from 34.4% to 19.4% on public transport and from 73.1% to 59.9% at home.
Up to 70% of smokers said they were trying to quit and 61% of asked people said they had persuaded other people to quit.
Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Fund for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm, said since 2014, they had help authorities in many provinces and cities to hold 8,000 live events and 1,000 promotion programmes about smoking and harmful effects. As of now, over 1,500 state offices, 10,000 schools and universities, and 508 hospitals have applied a smoking ban.
Even though the smoking rate in Vietnam has fallen, it is still among the top 15 countries for smokers in the world. 40,000 people die every year because of smoking-related diseases. The government hopes to pull the general smoking rate down to 39% in 2020.
There are also many shortcomings and difficulties in monitoring and dealing with violations due to lack of personnel and low public awareness. Khue went on to say that in the coming time, they will continue promotion programmes. In 2019 and 2020, they will build a mobile app to receive feedback from the public and deal with violations much quicker.