Online talk show calls for stopping second-hand smoke hinh anh 1At the talkshow (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in Vietnam. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which 69 cause cancer, participants heard at a recent online talk show to respond to World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

With the message "Give up smoking for the health of your loved ones", the seminar was jointly organised by the Vietnam Women's Union, the Tobacco Harm Prevention and Control Fund and technical support from the Global Health Organisation Vital Strategies as part of a communication programme on preventing the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Health experts said that second-hand smoke can exist everywhere and especially there is no safe threshold when exposed to second-hand smoke, affecting the community whose victims are mostly women and children.

The event introduced a short video clip that tells a true story about Le Thi Tinh, a woman who was often exposed to second-hand smoke. Her husband and father in law all died as a result of smoking. Her son has a mental disorder. Tinh has struggled every day with lung cancer and has a very difficult situation.

Through Tinh's story, the programme aims to increase public awareness, especially among women, about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke as well as to encourage them to speak up to protect themselves and their loved ones from second-hand smoke and advise those around them to give up smoking.

Speaking at the May 14 event, head of the Department of Family and Social Affairs, Director of the Vietnam Women's Union’s Centre to support women in HIV/AIDS prevention and reproductive health care Truong Thi Thu Thuy said women were the most vulnerable to second-hand smoke.

“Therefore, Thuy said, a women-oriented communication programme is to protect the rights of women and children to live a healthy life, as regulated in the Law on Prevention of Tobacco Harms 2013. Communication programmes on tobacco harms focus on women because the role of women in society is becoming more and more important. Women are not only influenced, but also create a lot of influence on family members and other people in the community. They are also inspirational people who change the perception of people around them,” said Thuy.

Thuy added that through the communication programme, the Vietnam Women's Union wanted to expand access to communication activities on building smoke-free homes.

Director of the health ministry’s Medical Services Administration, Director of the Tobacco Harm Prevention and Control Fund Luong Ngoc Khue said that the fund will work closer with the Vietnam Women's Union to promote the communication campaign on preventing the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, in which the highlight is the expansion of a smoke-free family home model, thereby contributing to building a smoke-free environment in the community.

Attending the online event, Miss Universe Vietnam H’Hen Nie also called on people to give up smoking for the health of them and beloved ones in their family.

According to a survey in 2015, with 45.3 percent of male smokers, Vietnam was one of the countries with the highest cigarette consumption in the world. The proportion of exposure to second-hand smoke at homes reached 62 percent, at workplaces 42 percent and in restaurants 80 percent./.