Vietnamese Authorities Struggle against the Predominance of Cigarette Use

May 10th, 2013 00:00

Vietnamese authorities have lately carried out a series of actions to struggle against the predominance of cigarette use.

Particularly, the law on the reduction and control of smoking will become effective on May 1, controlling actions focused to decrease the need for tobacco, control supply and reduce tobacco damage. According to the country's health ministry, the execution of the law will concentrate on passing smoking ban in companies, government workplaces, schools, hospitals and in many other public places as well as controlling cigarette advertising, promotion and funding. In some other actions, the Ministry of Industry and Trade lately authorized a verdict to reduce the number of tobacco merchants in Vietnam to 1,000 by 2015. Other 760 traders will be certified between 2016 and 2020, and 350 vendors will be allowed to work by that period.


The ministry stated between 2016 and 2020, licenses would be approved in agreement with the percentage of merchants and vendors to the population - one seller for every 50,000 people and one supplier for every 250,000. Tobacco companies will also have to fulfill particular specifications depending on the region of their storage facilities, number of vehicles, and financial ability, in order to get licenses. Moreover, the Ministry of Health's Legal Department released the draft rule on fines for infringements in the area of health, such as underage tobacco use and smoking in banned places.

People seen smoking in banned places would obtain fines of 200,000-500,000 Vietnamese dong (VND) (10$-24$). People under age 18 seen smoking or purchasing cigarettes would be fined 200,000-300,000 VND (10-14 dollars), while those who sell cigarettes to underage customers would be fined 1 million VND (48 dollars). The draft also suggested fines of 3-5 million VND (144-240 dollars) for the proprietors of smoke-free places who neglect to place no- smoking signboards or who usually do not stop smoking infringements from taking place. Additionally, those who fail to supply smoking products with appropriate graphic health warnings would obtain the highest fine of 40 million VND (1,918 dollars).

The draft rule is estimated to be authorized by the authorities at the end of this month and is designed to strengthen observance of the new Law on Cigarette's Harms Prevention. Consequently, by 2020, the level of smoking among youngsters (15-24 years old) is likely to be decreased from the present 26 % to 18 %, while for male adults from 47.4 % to 39 % and to less than 1.4 % among female adults in the country. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, Vietnam is amongst 15 countries with the majority of smokers worldwide.

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