6.7% of Vietnamese suffer from COPD

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COPDHANOI, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Some 6.7 percent of Vietnam's 83.1-million plus population suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Over 3 million local people are now infected with COPD, which is mainly caused by smoking and environmental pollution, and the figure is increasing, local newspaper Youth on Thursday quoted Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen as saying.

To date, Vietnam has spent some nine trillion Vietnamese dong (over 556 million U.S. dollars) on treatment for the sufferers.

According to statistics released by the ministry in late 2005, over 50 percent of local men and around 3 percent of local women smoke cigarettes.

Vietnam is trying to reduce the number of smokers by imposing higher taxes on tobacco products, restricting investment in cigarette production, and raising public awareness in this regard.

source - Xinhua