Smoking and Culture in Vietnam

This article translated in a story of Vietnamese man with unique cultures of Vietnam! Hope you enjoyed this article!

Preface: I have many friends smoke and I respect their rights. When I was in high school I also have time to “test” with the kind of toxin, but I was fined  for an unforgettable moment by teacher, and thereby do not dare to get used to it again. At that time, smoking was a fad, nobody care about the harmful of it, but later when grow up (have many information) know tobacco is harmful. Smoking is a personal choice, but the problem is that choice affects people around, so it usually happen many matters, how much controversy about freedom of smoking and the right to not smell the smoke. Last week, there were two important research about the harmful effects of tobacco made me remember this article already written 8 years ago, and would like to share with you.

 How To Quit Smoking Tips

“You should do smokers; moments dating lover it terribly long. Smoking is the greatest. Secondhand smoke spread into shape lover, smoke made clockwise run faster. Then when sitting with lover, smoke helping you stopped the time. ”   Cigarette smoke stopped the time.  Impressive Tips! If time stopped is when an individual no longer exist in the world, the impressive advice is so meaning. Indeed, through scientific research in recent years, tobacco was no longer a poetic item anymore, which is a toxic substance that can cause a range of diseases, including cancer, and shortens life expectancy. Speaking briefly was: tobacco kills people. And smoking is an act of suicide. By now, we need to review this poetic article, and put it on hazardous goods.

Several infor of tobacco history

No one knows exactly when and how tobacco is derived. However, historians believe that tobacco is grown in the US in about 6000 BC. Even in the early year of AD, Native Americans used tobacco on festive occasions and for medical purposes. They believed that tobacco could cure diseases, including bleeding and heal wounds, as well as painkillers.

In 1542, Christopher Columbus (the discoverer of the American continent) was few Native Americans donated some dried tobacco when he met them for the first time. Then he brought back to Spain, and from there it was growing throughout Europe. (It was said that it was a form of revenge by Native Americans for the entry of Europeans!) So Tobacco letters (whichwe translated as tobacco today) originating from Spanish, Tabaco and the name of a tree leaf. (Actually, more profound roots of Tabaco remain controversial among linguists.)

Europeans also believe that tobacco can cure diseases, from cancer to bad breath! In 1571, a Spanish doctor who called Nicolas Monardes wrote a book about the history of herbs; in the book, he claimed that tobacco could cure 36 different diseases. Thus, in the years of the 17th century, tobacco became extremely popular until well it is used as gold, as currency in trade.

Since then, tobacco obviously became a movement, especially among the men. Companies that produce tobacco also launched across Europe, and especially in America. 1760, Pierre Lorillard established tobacco manufacturing company in New York City. Today, the P. Lorillard Tobacco Company is the oldest in America. 1875, Mr. RJ Reynolds, a well-known tobacco business, the company also established a named RJ Tobacco Company in Winston Salem in the state of South Carolina, a notorious area produce tobacco in the world.

Phillip Morris agency, a company established in the UK in 1847 that sold Turkey cigarettes, also jumped into the US market by setting up a company in New York City in 1902 and started production famous Marlboro cigarettes. In 1913, the RJ Reynold counterattack by a drug named Camel, a famous brand of cigarettes. Until 1923, Camel dominates more than 45% American market! In 1939, the American Tobacco Company launched famous brand Pall Mall and the company quickly became the number one tobacco company of America. To show your patriotism, during World War II, companies often send millions of cigarette pack as a gift to the US military.

Each cigarette takes over the 5 minutes of lifespan.

However, a sense of unhealthy tobacco starting in 1604, the First King James of England said that “the American Tobacco makes people sluggish and drowsy, can be harmful to the lungs and brain.” He noted further that tobacco causes for halitosis. In 1610, Francis Bacon (renowned British scientist) commented that tobacco can make people addicted, because according to him, quitting smoking is a very difficult job. In 1826 Samuel Green in New England (USA) also noticed that plastic cigarette can be used for weed control and therefore it is a poison, can even cause death.

In the 1950s, while the tobacco companies do business prospered, some researchers have published more evidence that cigarettes have carcinogenic effects. In 1952, Dr. Ernst L. Wynders discovered that plastic of tobacco on the mouse back can cause cancer. After more than 10 activities, the British government decided to ban tobacco advertising on television. A year later, the US government began to act, but softer in UK: they forced the tobacco companies to print production on cigarette packs warning of the words “accidents” that cigarettes can cause. And as we know, so far, in the West, all tobacco products must have a warning [often written big and clear] on the harm of tobacco. In some countries, even the government forced the tobacco companies to record extremely clear way, not around, saying, “Smoking kills” (ie “Smoking kills people”)

So the question should be posed: What subtances in cigarettes that can kill many people? According to the results of hundreds of studies, cigarette contains 4,000 chemicals. On the 4,000 chemicals, 43 toxic are considered or suspected to cause cancer. Other Chemicals equally hazardous: ammonia (a type of gas can be found in the chemicals used to clean the floor), acetone (substances used to erase the paint), methanol (used for rocket fuel ), arsenic (an extremely toxic chemicals, had been suspected of being used to kill Quang Trung King), hydrogen cyanide (a poisonous gas), butane (used for ignition), DDT (reclamation drug for herbicides), carbon monoxide (an extremely dangerous gas from chimneys car), benzopyrene (a chemical capable of altering the genetic structure of Ras codon factor), etc … But chemical ingredients in tobacco is nicotine, most importantly, a pale yellow liquid. The effects of nicotine are very diverse, but said briefly: nicotine is a narcotic, in addition to making users addict, it also makes users feel shaky hands, smelly fishy breath, smelly clothes, and fingers become yellow.

Readmore: Quit Smoking Tips Q&A – How To Quit Smoking For Good

When inhaled tobaccos smoke, 4000 chemicals, including nicotine, go inside the lungs and blood together. Within 7 seconds, only nicotine directly into the brain, the blood to the heart, causes the heart have little oxygen. Once go into the brain, nicotine signaling of the brain organs to work: increased heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and disturbs the brain wave. Also, nicotine restricts the circulation of the blood, reducing the temperature of the skin, and changing the operation of other important parts of the body. Therefore, when smoke, people feel “abnormal” with psychedelic, ecstatic…

Because contain many toxic substances, so influence of tobacco on human health is very formidable. Almost all organs in the body of smokers, more or less, were affected by the smoke. In addition to increased blood fats, tobacco is the cause of heart disease, myocardial infarction, angina, cerebrovascular aneurysms, atherosclerosis, stroke, bronchitis, emphysema, respiratory diseases, lung cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer. Actually, the list goes on and on, but because of the limits of the article, I just want to limit the common diseases.

Besides diseases listed above, among women, smoking also causes many harmful effects are extremely dangerous, as doing harm to the brain of the fetus, miscarriage, and can cause birth defects for children. Women who smoke are at risk for osteoporosis because they have lower bone density than non-smoking women to 15%. Arthritis bones are also common in women who smoke. But perhaps feared harm for the women is also make quick wrinkled skin, and thus make the woman quickly premature aging.

How To Quit Smoking BLOG

Final consequence of tobacco is death. Speaking more precisely is early death. On average, in middle age, the mortality rate in people who smoke more than 70% higher than those who do not smoke. And so, smokers have shorter life expectancy than non-smoking about 15 years. Apparently each cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 5 minutes!

In public health, the mortality is divided into two groups: The first group is the inevitable death (as die of old age, sudden death), and the second group is the preventable death. For example, died of causes like smoking, excessive drinking, skydiving, etc… Are those deaths could be prevented. Tobacco is the number one cause of death can be prevented. On a global scale, according to research under World Health Organization of the UN, the world annually has about 6 million people die earlier than the average life expectancy for tobacco. This figure will rise inferred to 10 million by 2020. The World Health experts also estimated that by 2020, tobacco will cause the No. 1 direct cause of death. Therefore, we are not surprised that today, tobacco is considered the number one enemy of world health affairs.

The influence of tobacco in Vietnam

In recent weeks, two studies published in the two international medical journals have significance and relevance to tobacco in our country: the study of the effects of smoking on cancer, and the affect of tobacco to the health budget in Vietnam.

The first study summarizes the research during the past 40 years (from 1961 to 2003) on the contact link between smoking and cancer. Analysis results showed that compared with people who do not smoke, smokers at risk for lung cancer higher than 9 times, throat cancer 7 times, laryngeal cancer 7 times. The risk of liver cancer, stomach, and kidneys in people who smoke also rose from 50% to 100% compared to non-smokers.

These are very significant results, because so far we know the harm of smoking to cancer, but did not know exactly the extent of influence. This study shows again, smoking is a major factor causes lung cancer.

Based on this data and the incidence of cancer every year, I estimate that each year has about 11,500 young people and men over age 20 of lung cancer; of which 85% (or 9,800 cases) are related to smoking. Smoking is also a risk factor related to 85% of cases of throat cancer, but less number of patients than lung cancer (see details in dapper below).

Estimated annual number of cancer cases in men and some cases are related to smoking


cancer The annual cancer cases(men) Cases related to or caused by tobacco
lung 11.500 9.800
Throat 2.800 2.300
Bowel 4.000 1.700
Stomach 10.300 3.500
Liver 5.100 1.500

But cancer is not the only consequence of smoking habits; a majority of respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive (COPD) is also related to or caused by smoking.

The second study of American – Vietnamese scientists analyze costs related to smoking, and estimates that the cost of treatment in hospitals related to smoking in our country (the price in 2005) is 1,161. 829 Million Dong (or about USD 78 million); of these, 80% related to COPD disease, approximately 8% related lung cancer. The number 78 million USD account for about 0.2% of GDP, 4.3% of national health budgets. Among the costs to treat tobacco-related s, 51% is spent by the State, 34% by the people, and 15% is isurance.

Ironically, we often interested (sometimes panic) before the “acute threat” as avian flu, or even … shrimp sauce, but has not paid adequate attention to the greater risk and serious more important issues like smoking.

Tobacco and environment

Smokers have a very bad habit: smoking cigarettes is complete they are automatically thrown into the street. Some people are “kinder” they used shoes trampled until the fire off and then calmly walked away! Consequently, cigarette butts in the streets, and clog drains, polluting the environment. In Australia, the government recently published laws fined $ 200 who leave cigarette butts on the ground.

But a different kind of remarkable pollution is smoke. Tobacco smoke is the largest environmental pollutant. In developing countries with high engineering, tobacco and alcohol are the two main causes of death but should point out that they are preventable. Because smoking is an environmental problem, the people living in that environment, but not smoking, but also influenced transmission. Indeed, research in thirty years suggests tobacco also cause harmful health of nonsmokers, but near smokers. This phenomenon is also known as “passive smoking” or smoke spread. According to researchers in the US, every year, passive smoking causes cancer to 5,000 people. Environmental Protection Agency of the United States estimates that every year about 53,000 people die of passive smoking.

No cigarette might be called “safe” or harmless at all. Many studies in the US showed that the cigarettes bearing the bluff trademark as “low tar” (less resin) or “low nicotine” (less nicotine), carried out with the level of harm health like normal cigarettes.

Because of formidable influence of tobacco – not only to individual smoker, but also in society – so today in many countries of the world, smoking is considered an anti-social act, a rude action. In the West, in all government agencies, and most public establishments such as restaurants, station, latrine, etc … are non-smoking. In the US in the 1990s, governments have laws to ban smokers who may not take care of children. In Singapore, children adolescents (under 18 years) smoking will be hit (with the whip). Typically, prior heart surgery, your doctor asks whether the patient smokes or not. If the patient is a smoker, your doctor will have to spend some time to clean the cage before lung surgery.

Why do people smoke?

Tobacco has many toxic, why one third of the populations in the world smoke? According to the study over five decades, we can take out five main reasons:
• Mental stress, sadness, or boredom, despair;
• Merely wanting “enjoys” the smoke;
• Due to social pressure, want to get along with the crowd;
• And finally by addictions.

According to statistics, the medical students as well as those who use tobacco find ways to reduce tensions in the examination period. Some people still smoke because they want to have the stimulation of thinking; so do not be surprised when we see the majority of artists are smoked cigarette in his mouth.

The Harm of Smoking and the Way to Quit Smoking

Some people smoke because they think has a cigarette in hand or in pocket cigarette package are an expression of the “mature”and masculinity.

However, there are also many people who just want to “enjoy” the free moment, and in a mental state is normal. These people usually are educated, wealthy and often smoked cigars. Thus, in a long time, people smoke cigars is considered a gender stylish, sophisticated and aristocratic caste. Of course, cigars are a symbol of a sexy and power.

When asked why young people smoke, the answer is often social pressure and surrounding environment; ie a friend invited / challenge to smoke, and because of friendship or because of personal pride, should not want to refuse. Influence of “Idol” is also a guide to smoking. Someone likes to point out their idols as Winston Churchill, Franklin Rooservelt, Deng Xiaoping, President Ho Chi Minh, Charles de Gaulle, Albert Einstein, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, etc … were former smokers.

Pham Xuan An, a talent intelligence, is a smoker.

Habit is also an important reason. Some people smoke while working. Especially for those who are active, while doing something, they feel the need to have an “object” to busy. A cigarette in hand is one of the subjects

The final reason the most simple is addiction. What is “addiction”? About psychology defines a substance “addiction” by three characteristics are as follows: a smoker can’t stop using despite also tries; next is a smoker still use despite clear harmful  of that substance; and last is whether to stop using, but the substance has caused some consequences like symptoms restlessness, sleeplessness, irritability and difficulty concentrating on a long way. Based on these three characteristics, numerous clinical studies over the past 50 years have confirmed that the nicotine in tobacco is the main culprit causing the addiction to smokers.

How many people smoke in Vietnam?

According to a study published in 1997 in the The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) approximately 73% of men and youth (ages 18 and older) smoke. This is one the world’s highest rate that the Vietnam-US researchers have reported. Higher than both China and Japan! If calculated according to the current population, our country has 18.24 million youth and men over age 20 smoke!

Currently, in the developed countries like the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, etc .., there were 10 men, around 3 people smoking. It is worth noting that in recent years, the percentage of women smoking has increased continuously, and until now, has a higher proportion of men.

In Australia, according to a randomized study in 400 Vietnamese men live in Sydney in 1993, there were 10 people were asked, there are four smokers (ie 40%). Ten years later (2003), this proportion dropped to 35%, which is equivalent to smoking rate of local residents.

In fact, some people and diseases were affected higher in practice. If 18.24 million young men smoke, the person exposed cigarette smoke still much higher than the 18.24 million. Medical terminology calls this condition “passive smoking” There have been many studies show that passive smokers also have higher risk than average.

There is any way out?

Although big magic lure of tobacco, but it is encouraging that the smokers can completely abandon this habit. There are many smoking cessation methods. The most successful method is to quit smoking abruptly (which the Americans call “cold turkey”); ie suddenly someday smokers decided to quit this habit decisively. Also, some people choose someday (like today for example) and absolutely stop tobacco use, not even look to the pack again.

As mentioned above, nicotine is the substance that causes addiction, so an effective method for people who are severely addicted used “nicotine false” substance instead of real nicotine (this method is called in English is “nicotine replacement therapy”).

A third method is to use the drug. In medicine used for effective smoking cessation may have to mention Zyban. According to several clinical studies, Zyban is not only capable of smoking cessation, but also make people quit smoking less obesity, love of life, and even increase sexual inspiration (like viagra!). In addition to Zyban, there are drugs such as Doxepin, Clonidine, Nicotol also effective help quitting. “Skin patch” or “nicotine patch”, a patch on the skin, is also likely to help quit smoking.

Smoking cessation is a challenging job, sometimes arduous, and it requires at a “victim” have high determination and a plan to deal with the reaction of the body in the period after quitting. The reactions that quitting may encounter are:

• Dizziness, because the body is to find ways to adapt to the “environment” without tobacco;
• Headache can occur because blood pressure is gradually returned to normal (after about 30 days, blood pressure will return to normal);
• itchy sensation, sore muscles, and trembling hands, usually lasts about two weeks, is the indication that the circulatory system is in “improved” condition;
• Digestive disturbances, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, dry throat may also occur, but only lasted a couple of days;
• Often cough, because the lungs need removing some mucus caused by plastic cigarette;
• Mood changes may be difficult or easygoing, feeling lost a “pastime”;
• Not have quality of sleep and dreaming sometimes nightmares in the first few days after quitting.

However, in return, in the long run, people quitting will enjoy significant benefits. Many benefits can be seen within a few days, even hours, after quitting. If a person who smokes 20 cigarettes daily average, and would intend to quit smoking, here are the responses of the body:

• 6 to 8 hours, nicotine will no longer exist in the body. Within two days, the nicotine-related substance is no longer have;
• After 24 hours, the carbon monoxide will be discharged. Lungs work better;
• After two days, the taste and smell begin subtly back. Breath, hair, fingers and teeth are cleaner;
• Within two months of quitting, blood flow to the hands and feet start more regularly. And so, leg and arm has warmer feel, have more energy;
• After 12 months, the risk of dying of heart disease will be reduced by half;
• 5 years after quitting, health will come back completely normal like nonsmokers.

Readmore: What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Smoking

As you read this article you had completed the world had about 80 people passed away because of the smoke. Do you want to do a statistical figure it? I believe the answer is “no”. Social, family and friends need you. You take today to make the milestone in life by quitting smoking. And I wish you much luck.