The Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) on June 18 welcomed Vietnam ’s National Assembly’s passing of a Law on Tobacco Control, saying it is an important decision and will safeguard community health.

The Director of SEATCA, Bungon Ritthiphakdee acknowledged the lengths that Vietnam has gone to have the law entered onto the country’s statute book.

According to the World Health Organisation, Vietnam remains one of the top 15 countries in the world to have the highest numbers of smokers.

Every year, more than 40,000 Vietnamese die of smoking related diseases. The cost of treating diseases caused by smoking, such as lung cancer, coronary and respiratory problems is over 1 trillion VND (48 million USD) every year.

The 13 th National Assembly passed the Law on Tobacco Control on June 18 during its current session.

So far, every member of ASEAN, except Cambodia and Indonesia , have introduced laws to control the use of tobacco.-VNA