A meeting was held at the Hanoi National University of Education on May 29 in response to World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and the 2015 National No Tobacco Week.

The education sector has implemented numerous activities on building a green and healthy learning environment and preventing the harmful effects of tobacco, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia said.

A number of awareness-raising campaigns have been run among teachers and students, she added.

Last year, the Ministries of Education and Training; Health; Public Security; Transport; and Culture, Sports and Tourism; as well as the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour; the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union; and the People’s Committee of Hanoi signed commitments to implement the Law on the Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms and create a non-smoking working environment.

During the event, the Departments of Education and Training in Hanoi, Bac Ninh, and Bac Giang, along with the Hanoi National University of Education, the Hanoi Medical University, the Hanoi University of Pharmacy, the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, the National College for Education, and the Hanoi Medical College committed to implementing the law.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), smoking kills nearly 6 million people every year. More than five million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than 8 million by 2030, the WHO warned.

Nearly 80 percent of fatalities occur in low-and middle-income countries.-VNA