Victory for Health in Vietnam

July 24, 2012

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The Vietnamese government has approved the country’s first-ever comprehensive tobacco control law, marking a public health milestone for the country.  

The new law requires smoke-free work places and public places with few exceptions, mandates large, graphic cigarette health warnings, and places strong restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. 

 

 

 

Key provisions of the law include:

  • 100 percent smoke-free restaurants
  • Graphic health warning labels covering 50 percent of the cigarette pack
  • A prohibition on advertising and promotion of tobacco products
  • Restrictions on sale to minors and on tobacco sales within 100 meters of child care facilities, schools and hospitals
  • Ban on “kiddie packs” — small packs of cheap cigarettes, easily accessible to youth.

The law also establishes a dedicated tobacco control fund, which will be used to combat tobacco’s deadly toll in the country. The fund will support smoking cessation programs, educational services, research and communications efforts to educate the public about the harmful consequences of tobacco use.

The new law will help protect the 71 percent of Vietnamese children ages 13-15 who are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and reduce the deadly toll of tobacco, which kills more than 40,000 Vietnamese each year.

We applaud the Vietnam government for taking this historic action and the civil society organizations that have advocated for the new law, including the Vietnam Committee on Smoking or Health and the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance.