A parade to popularise the harmful impacts of tobacco (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The rate of smokers aged 13-15 in Vietnam fell by 1 percent from 3.3 percent in 2007 to 2.5 percent in 2014, according to a related survey by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The figure was revealed by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen at a workshop to build up plans to prevent and control tobacco impacts in Hanoi on December 15.

Up to 90 percent of responded student smokers intended to quit smoking, she added.

Thanks to the support of the Tobacco Control Fund, tobacco control steering committees have been established in 58 cities and provinces.

Counselling for smoking cessation has also been provided at six hospitals across the country and will be expanded at four more hospitals in the near future.

Bach Mai hospital, one of the largest in Vietnam and among these six hospitals, received more than 8,000 calls seeking counselling for giving up smoking from June and October this year.

Several resort cities, such as Hue, Nha Trang, Hai Phong, Ha Long and Hoi An, have been responding to the non-smoking city model.

Local authorities fined 241 organisations and 32 individuals who violated the Law on Tobacco Control for 77 million VND (3,416 USD) in the last two months of 2015.

According to WHO, tobacco kills nearly six million people every year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from second-hand smoke.

In Vietnam, tobacco claims more than 40,000 lives and huge healthcare cost. Productivity loss due to smoking are estimated at more than 1 billion USD per year.-VNA