- Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
- Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of whom more than 5 million are users and ex-users and more than 600 000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million a year by 2030.
- Nearly 80% of the world's one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.
- Tobacco use is one of the biggest contributors to the epidemic of noncommunicable disease in the Western Pacific Region.
- Second-hand smoke contains over 7000 chemicals of which 70 are known carcinogens.
- Of the World Health Organization's six regions, the Western Pacific Region has:
- the greatest number of smokers;
- the highest rates of male smoking prevalence;
- the fastest increase in tobacco uptake by women and young people;
- The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and represents a new approach in international health cooperation, using a global legal framework to address a globalized epidemic.
- The WHO FCTC is the first international treaty developed under the auspices of WHO to reduce the health and economic burden of tobacco use.
- The WHO FCTC calls for banning of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, providing health warnings, banning sale to minors, protecting people against exposure to second–hand smoke, raising prices and taxes and other measures to regulate tobacco use.
- Tobacco related illnesses are a leading cause of death in Viet Nam, with an estimated 40,000 people dying each year – more than a hundred a day. In the absence of urgent intervention, this is estimated to increase to 70,000 deaths per year by 2030
- Viet Nam is among the countries with the highest male smoking rates in the world: 47.4% of adult men and 1.4% of adult women smoke (Global Adult Tobacco Survey-GATS-2010).
- Of a total of 15 million smokers, 12.8 million (39.4% of males and 1.2% of women) smoke cigarrettes. 4.1 million adults currently smoke water pipe (GATS 2010).
- Among adult non-smokers 67% (about 33 million people) reported being exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) at home, while 49% of indoor workers (about 5 millions people) are affected by SHS at workplaces (GATS 2010).
- The production of cigarettes in Viet Nam has risen steadily since 2000, while the price and tax have remained low.
- Tax accounts for less than 45% of the retail price, well below the 65% to 80% recommended by the World Bank making cigarrettes very cheap. The most popular brand of cigarettes in Viet Nam costs $0.75 for a pack of 20.
- A recent survey found that 73% of adults say they support a tobacco tax increase (GATS 2010).
- Viet Nam ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in December 2004.
- A new law on tobacco control with comprehensive tobacco control measures was approved by the National Assembly in June 2012.
- WHO has made tobacco control in Viet Nam a priority.
- Working in partnership with Viet Nam Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH) Ministry of Health and other partners, WHO's support includes:
- Facilitating the FCTC implementation process in Viet Nam.
- Support for implementation of smoke-free city and provinces initiatives.
- Support of coordination among tobacco control partners.
- Mobilize funds for tobacco control.
- Advocating the development, approval and implementation of a strong tobacco control law.
- The key provisions of the law are:
- Pictorial health warnings occupying 50% of the packs.
- Comprehensive smoke-free indoor environments.
- A complete ban on tobacco advertising and promotion.
- A ban on sale of tobacco products to minors.
- A ban on tobacco sales within 100 meters of schools and hospitals.
- A ban on “kiddie packs” – small packs easily accessible to young people.
- And establishment of a Fund for Tobacco Control, using a surcharge applied on factory price of every pack of cigarettes.