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Friday,  Nov 24,2017,03:34 (GMT+7)

Tobacco causes economic losses of VND24.6 trillion a year in Vietnam

Ngoc Hung
Friday,  Jun 2,2017,00:29 (GMT+7)
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Tobacco causes economic losses of VND24.6 trillion a year in Vietnam

Ngoc Hung

Students in Hanoi City join an anti-smoking campaign. WHO said tobacco-related economic losses in Vietnam are estimated to amount to VND24.6 trillion (US$1.17 billion) a year - PHOTO: TTXVN

HCMC – The World Health Organization (WHO) said tobacco-related economic losses in Vietnam are estimated to amount to VND24.6 trillion (US$1.17 billion) a year, or VND67.4 billion a day.

According to WHO’s statement on the World No Tobacco Day 2017 (May 31), more than 40,000 Vietnamese people die of tobacco use a year, equivalent to 110 deaths a day.

WHO forecast that in the coming years, the number of deaths caused by smoking can be up to 70,000 a year if no preventive action is taken.

According to the organization, Vietnam is among the countries with the lowest tobacco tax as it accounts for only 40% of the retail price, falling short of the world average of 58% and much lower than WHO’s recommendation of 75% of retail price.

To restrict smoking, WHO said, Vietnam should hike the tobacco tax. “The increase of tobacco tax will not only help reduce smoking but also contribute more money to the State budget, so a tax increase is a win-win for both public health and government revenue,” said Dr. Lokky Wai, WHO’s representative in Vietnam.

The Institute of Social and Medical Studies cited the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2015 as saying that 22.5% of Vietnamese adults (or 15.6 million people) were smoking. In particular, the male smoking prevalence rate was 45.3% among all males while that of females was 1.1%.

Vietnam also has a high rate of second-hand smoke exposure. About 53.5% of non-smokers (28.5 million people) are exposed to second-hand smoke at home while 36.8% of them are exposed to second-hand smoke at work.

Vietnam’s Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms with five chapters and 35 articles took effect from May 1, 2013. Under the law, the Fund of Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms was established to raise the public awareness of tobacco harms. The fund is operated by the Ministry of Health and is financially managed by the Ministry of Finance.

According to WHO, tobacco waste contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals including human carcinogens that poison the environment. Besides, tobacco smoke emissions contribute to thousands of tons of human carcinogens, toxicants and greenhouse gases to the environment.

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