The ratio of smokers in Vietnam is surging, with over 50% of men smoking and around 50% of women and children breathing second-hand smoke. It is estimated that Vietnamese smokers spend 8.2 trillion dong (US$513.3 million) on cigarettes a year. This sum of money is enough to buy 2.4 million tonnes of rice to feed 15.6 million people for one year or to build 20,000 commune-level health stations, according to the National Programme for Preventing Harm from Cigarettes.
Also according to this programme, the fund for curing three cigarette-caused diseases, lung cancer, myocardium intake, and lung blockages, is 1.16 trillion ($72.5 million), equivalent to 20% of the total state budget for health a year.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), to better control smoking in Vietnam, the country needs to completely ban advertising, marketing and promotional sales of cigarettes, print warnings about the harm from cigarettes on 30% of more of the coverage of cigarette packs and increase taxes on cigarettes and the retail prices of cigarettes.