A meeting was held in Hanoi on May 31 to deliver the message on the role of women in creating a smoke-free home towards a smoke-free environment.

The event was organised by the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU), the Ministry of Health and the Fund for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms as part of activities to mark the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and the 2015 National Week of No Tobacco.

It was intended to promote the rights of women and children to live in a healthy smoke-free environment and pave the way for a social campaign in which women play a vital role in helping family members quit smoking.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam urged every community member, both males and females, to have greater responsibility for their own and others’ health and work together to reduce tobacco harms to the society.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vietnam is currently one of the 15 countries with the highest smoker numbers. Smoking rate among the country’s adult males is as high as 47.7 percent or 16 million people.

Tobacco causes about 40,000 premature deaths, and health care costs and productivity loss due to tobacco use are estimated at more than 1 billion USD per year in Vietnam.-VNA