Experts raise the alarm about e-cigarette smoking among youths
  • | VNA | July 24, 2020 08:04 AM
Experts voiced concerns over the alarming prevalence of e-cigarette and heat cigarette smoking among young people in Vietnam during a conference held by the Ministry of Information and Communications in Ho Chi Minh City on July 23.

Vietnam has striven hard to reduce the number of traditional cigarette smokers by 1 – 2 percent a year, but it is nothing compared to a sharp increase in the number of e-cigarette and heat-not-burn tobacco product users, said Phan Thi Hai, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund (VNTCF) under the Ministry of Health.

A 2019 survey by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that the prevalence of e-cigarette users among Vietnamese teenagers aged 13 – 17 was 2.6 percent, which is increasing at an alarming rate, she said, adding that in 2015, only 0.2 percent of Vietnamese people were e-cigarette and heat cigarette smokers.

The tobacco manufacturers have been luring young people by products with compact, eye-catching designs and various flavours, Hai continued, new-generation tobacco products are targeting both non-smokers and smokers; and in fact, many smokers of traditional cigarettes are also using e-cigarettes.

She warned that if Vietnam does not prevent the use of e-cigarette from expanding further, it will soon face dual impacts of both tobacco products, even those containing drugs.

Doan Thu Huyen, Country Director of the US-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said e-cigarettes and heat cigarettes are having negative effects on young people and smokers. There is a higher risk that young people might use drugs and other stimulants while smoking e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes, she added.

Huyen suggested a ban on all kinds of e-cigarettes and heat cigarettes should be issued before they become more popular on the market.

Meanwhile, Le Thi Thu from HealthBridge Canada, urged Vietnam to develop a legal framework to control these two tobacco products. Authorities should make extra efforts to inspect and prevent production, imports, marketing and sales of the products, she said.

Leave your comment on this story