The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) jointly held a press briefing in response to World No Tobacco Day 2012, themed “tobacco industry interference,” in Hanoi on May 22.

The campaign will focus on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry's brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), because of the serious dangers tobacco products pose to public health.

According to WHO, tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Tobacco will kill up to eight million people by 2030, and more than 80 percent will live in low and middle-income countries, unless people act.

In Vietnam, tobacco is the cause of more than 40,000 deaths annually, and the number will rise to 70,000 in 2030 if no effective measures are taken to reduce smoking rates.

More than 33 million non-smoking adults and two-thirds of children are affected by smokers in their families, workplaces and public areas.

Aiming at protecting people from tobacco harm, the ongoing session of the 13th National Assembly debated a draft Law on Tobacco Harm Prevention on May 22.

The country adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2004.

As more and more countries move to fully meet their obligations under the convention, tobacco industry efforts to undermine the treaty are becoming more and more energetic.

World No Tobacco Day 2012 will educate policymakers and the general public about the tobacco industry’s nefarious and harmful tactics.

On World No Tobacco Day 2012 (May 31) and throughout the year, WHO will urge countries to put the fight against tobacco industry interference at the heart of their efforts to control the global tobacco epidemic./.