Illustrative image (Source: ubdt.gov.vn)
 
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Women’s Union, in coordination with Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund under the Ministry of Health, officially launched a communication campaign on the harmful effects of secondhand smoke at a ceremony in Hanoi on December 6.

The campaign, titled "Protect yourself and your loved ones,” with the support of Vital Strategies, is the second stage of the “Women make smoke-free homes” programme, which was implemented on May 29, 2016.

The three-month campaign includes the airing of three TV spots based on the true story of Nguyen Thi Huong, a non-smoking victim of lung cancer, via online newspapers and popular social networks in Vietnam.

With the message "Smoking damages your home," these short clips are aimed at making millions of Vietnamese smokers who use social media understand the adverse effects of secondhand smoke on the health, economy and happiness of each family.

"These three TV spots are based on a true story, and through this media campaign we want to alert all smokers and those living in this unhealthy environment to the fact that anyone of us can face a similar situation of loss and suffering,” Tran Thi Huong, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women’s Union, said at the campaign launch ceremony.

“If someone has doubts about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, please watch this story. Stop smoking today to protect yourself and your loved ones," Huong added.

“Tobacco would claim Nguyen Thi Huong’s life, but her story will serve as a reminder of the harm this deadly product can cause and will encourage many tobacco users to make an attempt to quit,” José Luis Castro, president and chief executive officer, Vital Strategies, said.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in Vietnam. The story of Huong is not “an odd one out" as the proportion of Vietnamese non-smoking women accounted for 20 percent of lung cancer cases and this figure was increasing gradually.

According to a survey in 2015, with 45.3 percent of male smokers, Vietnam was one of the countries with the highest cigarette consumption in the world. The proportion of exposure to secondhand smoke at homes reached 62 percent, at workplaces 42 percent and in restaurants 80 percent.-VNA