Smoking-related diseases kill over 40,000 people in Vietnam each year and if no measure is taken, nearly 10 percent of the Vietnamese population will have died from smoking-related diseases by 2030, the Ho Chi Minh City Health Education and Communication Center warned.
The warning, based on the estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO), was released by the Ho Chi Minh City Health Education and Communication Center to mark the date the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms took effect - May 1.
Smoking is one the leading causes of death in Vietnam, with more than 100 people dead from tobacco-related diseases per day, four times higher than the death toll of road traffic accidents.
Vietnam is among the countries having the highest rates of male tobacco smokers in the world, and is also one of the countries where smoking in public places are popular, affecting the health of non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smokes, according to WHO.
According to the 2010 global adult tobacco survey, out of two Vietnamese people over 15 years old, one is addicted to tobacco.
Smoking-related fatal diseases like stroke, coronary artery, lung cancer are the leading causes of death for both men and women in Vietnam.
Vietnam, with a population of nearly 89 million now, is one of the 15 countries having the highest rates of tobacco users in the world, particularly men, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen at a conference on April 23.
About 11 percent of male deaths have been caused by smoking, according to a survey by the Health Strategy and Policy Institute.
WHO warns that the number of deaths would rise to 70,000 cases in 2030 if there are no effective measures in response to smoking in Vietnam.
47 million second-hand smokers at home in Vietnam
In Vietnam, according to the above-mentioned global adult tobacco survey, about 8 million workers suffer from passive smoking at working places, and as many as 47 million people are regularly exposed to smoking at home.
Tobacco kills nearly six million people in the world 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, according to WHO.
Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than ten million by 2030, and 70 percent of which will be in developing countries, WHO said.
In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
A cigarette shortens life span by 5.5 minutes
Meanwhile, scientists warn that smoking a cigarette causes a loss of 5.5 minutes of life expectancy. The average life span of smokers is 5-8 years shorter than non-smokers.
In women, smoking may cause infertility, premature menopause, ectopic pregnancy, pre-birth fetal death, miscarriage, and cervix cancer. Smoking when in pregnancy may lead to underweight of newborns, premature birth, and after-birth hemorrhage.
In men, smoking may increase their risk of impotence by twice, reduce the ability to produce sperms, cause deformity of sperms, and decrease the ability of sperm movement.