Women’s union empowers women to protect themselves and their families from the harms of tobacco

Vietnam Women’s Union (the Women’s Union) launched the “Safety for Women and Children” action plan in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City . The action plan highlights issues that the Women’s Union intends to addressto improve the health and wellbeing of women across the country in three areas: Health, Social and Livelihoods.

Mr. Tom Carroll, Senior Advisor, Policy and Communication at Vital Strategies – a partner with Vietnam Women’s Union in preventing smoking harms activities, said: “Tobacco use among women is extremely low compared to men in Vietnam (45% of Vietnamese men and 1% of women smoke tobacco), yet women bear a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related disease from exposure to secondhand smoke. The Vietnam Women’s Union plays a critical role in protecting Vietnam’s women and children from the harms of tobacco. Its ability to reach every woman in Vietnam gives it real grass-roots power to make a difference in every home in every community, dissuading women from smoking, encouraging them to advise others against smoking, and empowering them to protect themselves and their families from second-hand smoke. It has also used its national influence to share the personal story of a non-smoker woman development of lung cancer after many years of SHS exposure,and to build support for strong policies that could deliver population-level reductions in tobacco use, such as increasing tobacco taxes. We applaud the Vietnam Women’s Union for including tobacco control in its “Safety for Women and Children” action plan, affirming its continued commitment to this is life-saving work. Its leadership will help to reduce the burden of tobacco among current and future generations.”

Vital Strategies has supported the Women’s Union since 2015, on the “Smoke-free Homes” campaign. In 2018, Vital Strategies also supported a Women’s Union high-level workshop on the benefits of increasing tobacco taxes to improve the health of women and children health and a mass media campaign featuring a Women’s Union member suffering from from lung cancer related to exposure to second-hand smoke.

Vietnam is still maintaining a sustainable social education campaign against control tobacco smoking. Such campaign aims to raise awareness of not only the danger of smoking to smokers, but also the non-smokers – especially women and children. The campaign help people to realize the importance of encouraging smokers to quit smoking and protect non-smoker from exposure to second-hand smoke.

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