WHO’s social media campaign promotes smoke-free environment

Friday, 2018-09-28 15:32:37
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In 2013, Vietnam launched the National Strategy on Tobacco Control through 2020, which aims to reduce the smoking rate among youths and adolescents between 15-24 from 26% in 2011 to 18% in 2020. (Photo: Vietnam+)
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NDO/VNA – A three-month social media campaign against smoking was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam in partnership with key tobacco control partners in Hanoi on September 27.

Themed “#Respect,” the campaign aims to promote a smoke-free environment to protect and improve public health.

It calls on everyone, smokers and non-smokers, to respect the law on tobacco control and respect their and others’ health by ending indoor smoking at public spaces to prevent exposure to second-hand smoke.

The hashtag #Respect was created to help people spread anti-smoking messages on social networks and the public is encouraged to support the campaign by sharing posts, making supportive comments and creating tobacco-related stories with the hashtag.

The campaign’s launch coincided with the third United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York. “This way, we also aim to highlight how smoking remains one of the leading causes of NCDs, and call for political commitment and public support to address the challenge,” said Dr. Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Vietnam.

#Respect is a collaborative campaign among organisations championing tobacco-free initiatives in the country. Joining the WHO are Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (TFK), Community Research and Development Services (CDS), the Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH), HealthBridge Vietnam, Thuongmai University, Vietnam Public Health Association (VPHA) and Vital Strategies.

According to the WHO, some 40,000 people in Vietnam die each year from tobacco-related diseases, such as strokes and coronary artery diseases. Thirty percent of all heart disease deaths are caused by smoking.