Deputy Minister of Health warns of serious consequences of e-cigarettes – heating to health

Smoking is a risk factor for respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases and is especially the leading cause of non-communicable diseases. such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, it is estimated that each year causes 60,000 cases.
The above information was emphasized by Prof. Dr. Tran Van Thuan – Deputy Minister of Health at the meeting to respond to the World No Tobacco Day on May 31 and the National No Tobacco Week from May 25 to 31, 2023 organized by the Ministry of Health . Health held on the morning of May 27 in Hanoi.

More than 8 million deaths globally every year
According to Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan, the World Health Organization emphasized that tobacco use is the cause of more than 8 million deaths globally each year. Of these, more than 7 million people died from direct tobacco use and about 1.2 million died from passive smoking.

“The 2020 WHO panel of public health experts review found that smokers have a higher risk of serious health complications from COVID-19 than non-smokers . Besides harmful effects on health, tobacco use also causes economic losses to individuals, families and society, these losses include spending on smoking, expenses for medical examination and treatment. related to smoking, decrease/inability to work due to illness and premature death” – Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan said.

In Vietnam, the Deputy Minister of Health said that the prevention of tobacco harms has achieved many remarkable results, compared to 2015, the percentage of male smokers in 2020 has decreased from 45.3% to 42.3%. In particular, the rate of passive smoking has also decreased significantly in places such as: workplaces, educational institutions, on public transport and indoor areas.

The rate of tobacco use among young people aged 15-24 decreased from 26% (in 2015) to 13% (in 2020). Among schoolchildren aged 13-15, the smoking rate also decreased from 2.5% in 2014 to 1.9% in 2022.

However, Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan also stated that, besides the initial successes, the prevention of tobacco harms in our country is still facing difficulties and challenges. Vietnam is still in the group of countries with the highest number of smokers in the world.

In recent years, products called e-cigarettes, heated cigarettes, and shisa have appeared. These products are currently not allowed to be imported, traded and circulated in the domestic market, however, trading and advertising are taking place popularly, especially in the internet environment.

According to the Deputy Minister, these products are diversely designed with many designs and flavors that are very attractive to young people, which leads to the rapid increase in the use of e-cigarettes in our country. especially in school age.

Therefore, leaders of the Ministry of Health emphasized that if we do not continue to take strong measures to prevent tobacco harms and promptly prevent new tobacco products in Vietnam, the rate of drug use leaves will increase again.

“The health and economic losses caused by the use of new tobacco products are just as serious as those of conventional tobacco products, especially the health consequences for the younger generation. This makes it difficult to achieve the goal of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms, which is to reduce smoking rates and protect public health,” said Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan.

The rate of e-cigarette smoking in our country increased 18 times, high concentration among young people
Dr. Angela Pratt, WHO Representative in Vietnam, said that in Vietnam, at least 40,000 people are killed by tobacco each year. To reduce this number of premature deaths and to achieve the goal of reducing smoking rates by 30% by 2030, there is still a lot of work to be done.

According to her, it is a priority to increase taxes and tobacco prices because tobacco prices in Vietnam are currently among the cheapest in the world. This makes it easier for young people to start smoking. Moreover, low tobacco prices will make it more difficult for existing smokers to quit.

“We also need to prevent and control the use of new tobacco products. Products are still marketed and advertised in ways that are misleading to vulnerable young people. “- Dr. Angela Pratt said.

The media plays a very important role in tobacco control efforts. A collective effort is therefore needed to warn people of all ages about the serious harm that tobacco use can cause to individuals and families, and the significant cost burden that tobacco use poses. This places on households and health systems.

“I am very happy that today we will jointly launch a new media campaign called ” Say no to e-cigarettes, heated cigarettes to protect the young generation ” by the Tobacco Harm Prevention Fund. and the Youth Union chaired – with technical support from Vital Strategies and WHO” – Dr. Angela Pratt expressed.

Sharing more about this information, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue – Director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, Director of the Tobacco Harm Prevention Fund – said that the rate of e-cigarettes in our country in 2020 is in both men and women increased 18 times compared to 2015 (from 0.2% to 3.6%). In particular, the trend of using e-cigarettes is highly concentrated in the 15-24 year old age group.

“Therefore, the Fund’s 2023 communication programs will promote propaganda about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and heated cigarettes, promote communication on social networking sites (Tik Tok, Youtube, Facebook). to provide timely information and mobilize the participation of a large number of young people and students” – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue said.

Dr. Tom Carroll, Senior Advisor for Communications and Policy Advocacy of Vital Strategies – an organization with many years of experience in supporting communication activities to prevent and control tobacco harms in Vietnam, shared some messages. used in the communication campaign “Say No to e-cigarettes and heated cigarettes to protect the young generation” includes:

Use of e-cigarettes and heated cigarettes can damage the lungs, heart and brain, especially in young people;
Like smoking cigarettes, heated cigarettes and e-cigarettes also emit harmful chemicals such as nitrosamines and hydrocarbons found in car fumes and cancer-causing pesticides;
Using e-cigarettes and heated tobacco quickly causes nicotine addiction and is difficult to quit.
In order to further enhance the interest of sectors, levels and communities in the prevention of tobacco harms, WHO has designated May 31 every year as World No Tobacco Day and every year is allowed to of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health organized the National No Tobacco Week from May 25 to May 31.

This year’s World No Tobacco Day 31/5, WHO chose the theme “We need food, not tobacco”. Through this theme, WHO calls on countries to promote activities to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on health, economy, environment, food security and nutrition; mentions the link between tobacco use and cultivation and poverty; called for quitting smoking to increase spending on food

Antonina Mosciski

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