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How should we avoid risks from cigarette smoke?

Smoking impacts the health of people worldwide and this is a big concern. World No-Tobacco Day is observed on May 31. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects.  In Laos many organisations around the country are preparing activities to boost the campaign against smoking by raising awareness of its harmful effects. Vientiane Times asked members of the public what they thought should be done to reduce the effects of smoking.


Mr Khamtha Sibounheuang, a resident of Chanthabouly district, Vientiane: Smoke from cigarettes is very dangerous for everyone. I don’t like smoking and I can’t stand it when there’s someone smoking nearby or next to me. As we know, both smokers and people nearby are affected by cigarette smoke and it has both direct and indirect impacts. It’s not good that many smokers don’t care about the feelings and health of other people and don’t follow the regulations on smoking. Some people also don’t take any notice of no-smoking signs. It’s good that authorities have announced many parks and public sites to be smoke-free areas. Making these places smoke free will reduce the diseases and risks from smoking for both smokers and non smokers. It will also help to protect the benefits of the community regarding to health, to promote mind cultivation of people in society especially youngsters to understand cigarette smoking is very dangerous, not good for health. However, the authorities should distribute more information about the effects of smoking and also publicise the regulations in relation to no-smoking signs. This might help to reduce the harmful effects of smoking in our society.

Mr Souvan Inthaphone, a resident of Sikhottabong district, Vientiane: Smoking is not good for one’s health; it’s perilous to children and most people don’t like it. It’s not good that so many people smoke openly and even worse that many are inconsiderate and aren’t concerned about the risks of smoking and the effect they may have on others. I often hear people, especially women, complaining about inconsiderate smokers.  Many people have a strong dislike of smoking and argue with people who don’t consider others. In order to remind public, especially smokers to be more aware on this matter, we should use no-smoking signs to be effective, they should not only be displayed in public places but the authorities should put up instructions or rules alongside the signs so that people can read them and smokers know exactly how they should comply. If smokers don’t follow the rules they should be punished.

Ms Bualay, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: Fortunately, there aren’t any smokers in my family and I quite often warn children about the harmful effects of smoking. I remind them that it is not good for the health and is a waste of money. I’m quite strict on this because I don’t want to live with people who smoke. Smoking can cause many problems and conflicts in families, especially if smokers aren’t aware of the effects of their behaviour. I would like all families to advise their children about the risks they run as smokers to discourage them from taking up the habit. Some families have arguments about how much it costs to buy cigarettes and food. Of course the best thing would be if everyone gave up smoking completely because it helps your family be healthier and happier.

Ms Kingkeo Chanphakdy, a resident of Xaysettha district, Vientiane: It’s good to have World No-Tobacco Day because it’s a good opportunity for the authorities to hold special activities to publicise the dangers and impacts of smoking among our society.  I think many smokers still don’t know or are aware about the rules or the no-smoking signs because they are uneducated, so they still think they can smoke wherever they want to. In order to reduce the impact and risk from smokers, the rules, the meaning of the prohibition signs, and information about the impacts of smoking need to be more widely distributed, especially among groups of smokers. The smokers should be aware on following the rules when they smoke. We shouldn’t stay closed to smokers or cigarette smoke. If possible smokers should reduce or stop smoking because it isn’t good for their health and the surrounding people. I don’t think it’s too difficult to give up smoking but you have to be strong willed. Moreover, it’s very good that there are signs of Smoke-Free or No-Smoking areas including in temples, schools, parks and visitor sites as well as along the roads in the city. However, the smokers should strictly follow the rules and avoid smoking where the sign are posted in order to reduce the dangers and effects of smoking.



By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update May 31, 2021)

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