Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health is planning to provide training on how to help local residents quit smoking for staff at ward- and commune-level People’s Committees.

Dr Trinh Van Hiep, head of the municipal Department of Health’s the board on preventing harm caused by cigarette smoking, said that it’s difficult for many people to quit smoking even if they want to.

Hiep said at a recent meeting on preventing the effects of cigarettes that smokers need assistance from wards and communes involved in the programme.

After receiving consultations, smokers will be treated at eight hospitals in the city that provide this service, he said.

Knowledge along with determination and assistance are the keys to quitting smoking, Hiep added.

The city also wants more wards and communes to become smoke-free, Hiep said, adding that communication activities would be carried out at all households.

Each family member should have a deep understanding of the Law on Tobacco Harm Control and Prevention and should encourage their relatives to quit or never begin smoking.

Residents will be told that if there is a pregnant woman or children in the family, smokers should go outside, and that smoking at parties among families should not be encouraged.

Owners of restaurants, hotels coffee shops, and production workshops in every ward and commune will be encouraged to ban smoking, he said.

According to a report from the health harm prevention board, 24 wards and communes in the city are smoke-free.

“No Smoking” signs can be seen on many apartment buildings, hospitals, parks and other buildings.

Cigarettes should be sold only via retail regulated under the Law on Tobacco Harm Control and Prevention, which means that sites selling cigarettes should not advertise and sell to people under 18 years old.

The programme on preventing harm caused by cigarette smoking also aims to continue developing smoke-free environments at hospitals, schools, and state offices. The city has more than 350 restaurants and hotels that ban smoking.

People’s committees in the city’s districts will set up inspection teams to check the implementation of the tobacco harm control and prevention programme. An interdisciplinary inspection team will be set up by April this year.-VNA