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Passive Smoking in Vietnam

Info: 2351 words (9 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: smoking

Student’s name: Nguyen Viet Dung


Passive smoking is a serious problem in Vietnam nowadays. Particularly, public smoking in Vietnam is a common habit, which comes from people’s unawareness. Many effective measures have been taken to put an end to passive smoking. This paper, based on secondary research, discusses the locations where smoking usually happens, the effects of passive smoking and some solutions and recommendations. Based on the findings of the research, the paper draws the conclusion that although passive smoking is still common at the present, there is actually hope that passive smoking will be no longer exist in the future.


  1. Introduction

Passive smoking, or second-hand smoking, is known as the inhalation of second-hand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) by people other than the active smoker.

Exhiled smoke is call exhaled mainstream smoke. The smoke drifting from a lit cigarette is call sidestream smoke. The combination of mainstream and sidestream smoke is called second-hand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

(Better Health Channel 2012, p.01)

According to Ho Chi Minh City Health Education and Communication Center , smoking-related diseases kill over 40,000 people in Vietnam each year and if no measure is taken, nearly 10 percent of the Vietnamese population will have died from smoking-related diseases by 2030. According to the 2010 global adult tobacco survey, out of two Vietnamese people over 15 years old, one is addicted to tobacco (WHO 2010). About 8 million workers suffer from passive smoking at working places, and as many as 47 million people are regularly exposed to smoking at home (WHO 2010).

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The effects of smoking is very dangerous and if no measures are given to prevent this problem, it can spread more over and over. So many laws which prevent and protect for non-smokers should be taken to protect the people individually and the atmosphere generally, but it is a time-consuming process and it demand the consideration of many groups in society. Therefore, this paper, with the purpose of helping stop the passive smoking, discusses the objects, the effects of passive smoking and what measures to solve this problem.

2. Discussion of findings

2.1. Where is second hand smoke make a problem

The workplace is a major source of SHS (Second Hand Smoke) exposure for many adults (American Cancer Society 2014). SHS in the workplace has lead to an increase risk for heart disease and lung cancer among adult non-smokers (American Cancer Society). The only way to prevent SHS at work is smoke-free workplace policies. It separates smokers from non-smokers, cleans the air. Workplace smoking restrictions may also encourage smokers to smoke less or even quit.

Everyone can be exposed to SHS in public places, such as restaurants, shopping centers, public transportation, schools, and daycare centers. (American Cancer Society 2014)

Public places where children go are a special area of concern. Make sure that our children’s day care center or school is smoke-free. According to WHO, Vietnam is among the countries having the highest rates of male tobacco smokers in the world, and is also one of the countries where smoking in public places are popular, affecting the health of non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smokes.

Smoking at home is a very common action in people’s life. We spend more time at home than everywhere else, a full-of-smoke house can harms our families, guests or even pets.

Children’s growing bodies are especially sensitive to the poisons in SHS. Others may seem like small problems, but they add up quickly – the time for doctor visits, medicines, lost school time, and often lost work time for the parent who must stay home with a sick child are all costs that can impact a family.

(American Cancer Society 2014)

Making our home smoke-free may be one of the most important things we can do for the health of our family.

If someone smokes in the car, the poison can build up quickly and this is especially harmful to children.

In VietNam, our gorvenrment has created the laws that ban smoking in the car, public transportations or even private cars to protect the health of children. Many facilities such as city buildings, malls, schools, colleges, and hospitals ban smoking on their grounds, including their parking lots and on the glass of windows.

2.2 The effects of passive smoking

A person who smoke indoors causes a permanent low-lying smoke cloud that other people inside have no choice but to breathe (Better Health Channel 2012).Those ammonia, sulphur and formaldehyde insided in tobacco irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs (Better Health Channel 2012).

Exposure to second-hand smoke can either trigger or worsen symtomps and might be the cause of cancer. Below is health risks of passive smoking affecting various objects:

Firstly, health risks affecting prefnant women and unborn babies. Astralian data indicates that about 20 percents of women smoke during pregnancy. Both active smoke or passive smoke seriously affect the fetus. Mothers who smoke during this time usually face up with many risk such as :

+ Increase risk of miscarriage and stillbirth

+ Increase risk of premature birth and low birth weight

+ Increase risk of sudden unexpected death in infants, which includes sudden infant death syndrome and fatal sleep accidents

+ Increase risk of complications during birth.

Secondly. Health risks affecting children. Children are especially vulnerable to the damage effects of second-hand smoke, according to Better Health Channel. Australian data provides that more than 40 percents children who live in a full-smoke home. Breathing smoke discharged by smokers can cause many health risks, include :

+ Increase risk of developing a range of respiratory illnesses including bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia. They are also more prone to getting colds, coughs and glue ear (middle ear infections). Their lungs show a reduced ability to function and slower growth.

+ More likely to develop asthma symptoms

+ More likely to have symptoms such as cough, phlegm, wheeze and breathlessness.

+ Increased risk of meningococcal disease, which can sometimes cause death or disability.

Finally, health risks affecting partners who have never smoked. When a person who have never smoked lives and shares the atmosphere with a smokers, he or she can be effected by tobacco-related diseases and other health risks, including :

+ Improving the risks of heart disease. People who do not smoke live in a smoky house have higher rate of heart disease than those who do not

+ Leading to increased risk of various health conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

+ The level of antioxidant vitamins in the blood is reduced

+ Leading to the development of atherosclerosis.

+ 20 to 30 percent higher risk of developing lung cancer

+ Increase the risk of stroke, nasal sinus cancer, throat cancer, breast cancer, long- and short-term respiratory symptoms, loss of lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

2.3. Solutions and recommendations for passive smoking

In Vietnam , in term of country, governments have interceded and provided some laws, some organizations about this problem.

Firstly, it is essential to create some smoking laws. For example, the smoking ban was firstly passed in Vietnam at May 2013, was stated that “sale of tobacco products near educational premises and selling of tobacco products to under-18 children will be an offence” (cited in Vietnam To Impose Smoking Ban By 2013).

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Secondly, governments have established a lots of organizations about the harms of public smoking and tobacco smoke. Typically, the “World No Tobacco Day” was organized in Vietnam on 25 May 2013 . According to the statement of Nguyen Quoc (2013), The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization on May 25 jointly organized a meeting in response to ‘World No Tobacco Day’ and launched a tobacco free week, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco consumption and advocating effective policies. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship’. At the meeting, Nguyen Thi Xuyen, deputy health minister, said tobacco is one of the leading causes of diseases and deaths in the world. Moreover, a ‘No Smoking Week’ has been launched from May 25 to 31. At the meeting The Ministry called for organizations, companies and individuals to obey a no smoking ban in offices, educational facilities, hospitals and public places.

Finally, restaurants and hotels in capitals must be banned from smoking. For more details, In HCMC wants restaurants, hotels to be no-smoking zones, T.Dat (2012) noted that The Department of Health and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City held a seminar on August 24, to discuss the negative and harmful effects of smoking in public places and have asked restaurants and hotels in the City to commit to creating a non-smoking environment in their premises. In addition, a promotion of smoke-free restaurants and hotel in 4 February 2014 was promoted by The city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Department vice director, Mai Tien Dung, said the agency would encourage restaurants and hotels not to allow smoking in public areas and to eventually ban smoking throughout premises including guest rooms. World Hospital Organisation’s Office in Hanoi representative, Le Duc Truong, added that many countries banned smoking in restaurants and hotels to ensure a healthy environment.

Here is some recommendations in order to solve this problem.

Free from tobacco smoke must be safeguarded through actions by national and local governments, community leaders, health workers, educators and parents.

Successfully eliminating exposure to tobacco smoke requires comprehensive efforts at all level: international level, national level, regional and local level.

Media campaigns, education to inform the public and especially parents can be part of a comprehensive stragety to advice people and improve their awareness and understanding about the adverse health effects of SHS and effective ways of controlling exposure.

In the future, more study on the effects of SHS on people’s health is essential. Suggestion for a future follow-up study is also very important.

3. Conclusion

From all the finding above, it is clear that passive smoking in Vietnam is still a really serious problem. It has developed greatly and causes a lot of harms over the years. Another sad fact is that there are yet many reasons for people to continue smoking, which cannot be solved soon. However, there are also reasons to believe smoking will be stopped in the future thanks to authorities’ determination and the supporting of many groups on society. Then, hopefully, we can see the future that no longer has tobacco smoke in the atmosphere .


Better Health Channel 2012, Passive smoking, viewed February 2012, page 1.


WHO December 2009, 10 facts on second-hand smoke, fact 3, fact 6.



WHO 2010, Global Adult Tobacco Survey(GATS), page 1 & page 2.


American Cancer Society, Secondhand Smoke, viewed 11 February 2014


Kamilah Qasimi , Vietnam To Impose Smoking Ban By 2013,viewed 19 June 2012


T. Dat – Translated by Uyen Phuong, HCMC wants restaurants, hotels to be no-smoking zones, viewed 25 August 2012


Nguyen Quoc – Translated by Anh Quan, ‘World No Tobacco Day’ organized in Vietnam, viewed 27 May 2013


Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit, Hanoi to go smoke free, viewed 4 February 2014



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