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Forget Motorbikes. Smoking is Vietnam's #1 Killer

No matter where you’re from, smoking cigarettes is a killer. While Vietnam has started to feel the effects of this long-ignored but serious public health issue, perhaps a recent report from the Ho Chi Minh City Health Education and Communication Center will shake things up a bit.

While we tend to consider motorbikes the most dangerous part of daily life in Vietnam, cigarettes are far more harmful. According to Tuoi Tre:

“Smoking is one the leading causes of death in Vietnam, with more than 100 people dead from tobacco-related diseases per day, four times higher than the death toll of road traffic accidents.”

I'm not gonna do the math, but it sounds like smoking while driving is just about the most deadly thing one can do in Vietnam. Oh, and drinking...

With nearly 50% of males over 15 addicted to cigarettes, Vietnam has one of the highest rates of male tobacco smoking in the world. And, due to the few restrictions on indoor and public smoking, an additional 47 million people are regularly exposed to the cancerous smoke (according to a 2010 global adult tobacco survey).

The most alarming takeaway from the Ho Chi Minh City Health Education and Communication Center’s report is the prediction that if no steps are taken, by 2030, 10% of the Vietnamese population will have died from smoking related diseases.

Something tells me that pasting images of plugged arteries and black lungs on cigarette packs isn’t gonna do the trick…

[Tuoi Tre // Photo via Galen Stolee]

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