Students cycle at a parade warning citizens of smoking dangers. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Health Ministry and its Fund for Tobacco Harms Prevention organised a meeting to mark World No Tobacco Day (May 31) in Hanoi on May 26.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien reminded state agencies of their commitment signed with the Health Ministry last year to build a smoke-free workplace.

He said each public servant should be a model of saying no to tobacco products in society.

According to Head of the Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment Luong Ngoc Khue, Vietnam is among 15 countries with the highest number of smokers worldwide.

Smoking can cause a host of non-communicable diseases, these diseases are the cause of more than 75 percent of fatalities in Vietnam every year, he noted.

Initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1987, World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated annually to inform the public on the dangers of smoking and the tobacco business.

This year, WHO is calling on countries to get ready for plain packaging of tobacco products, meaning the restricted use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging.

In response to the initiative, Vietnam has launched a national tobacco-free week that is running from May 25 to 31.-VNA