From the issuance of the Law on Tobacco Harm and Prevention in 2013 until last year, Vietnam has pursued a State policy on this very issue for over half a decade. Vietnam has implemented various measures of restriction on tobacco supply and promoted the activities of tobacco harm prevention at the same time. Notably, this has been performed through the establishment of a fund for tobacco harm prevention (“Fund”).

Law on Tobacco harm prevention

On May 01, 2013, Law No. 09/2012/QH13 on Tobacco Harm and Prevention (“Tobacco Law”) came into force which aims to provide measures for reducing the demand for tobacco, controlling tobacco supply sources, and conditions for preventing tobacco harm.

The Tobacco Law states four principles of prevention of tobacco harm, as follows: i) Focus on taking measures to reduce tobacco demand and gradually reduce tobacco supply sources; ii) Concentrate on providing information and education to raise awareness of tobacco harm aiming to reduce the proportion of tobacco users and the harm of tobacco use; iii) Participate in inter-sectoral coordination, social mobilization, and international cooperation in the prevention of tobacco harm; and iv) Protect the right to live and work in a non-smoking environment and to be fully informed of tobacco harm.

Furthermore, the Tobacco Law also sets out two major conditions that helps the Government of Vietnam (“GoV”) to effectively implement State Management to ensure tobacco harm prevention. State Management involves the handling and sanctioning of violations of the Tobacco Law. And the establishment of a fund for tobacco harm prevention is necessary to mobilize, provide and coordinate financial resources for the prevention of tobacco harm nationwide. The latter has been accomplished with the issuance of Decision No. 47/2013/QD-TTg by the GoV on July 29, 2013. The expenditures of the Fund are based on the annual plans of activities; short-term and long-term programs and strategies and priority objectives for each period, as approved by the Inter-Sector Management Council.

Summary of Government Report on the Fund for tobacco harm prevention

The GoV has reviewed a report on the establishment, use and management of the Fund for tobacco harm prevention which was submitted to the National Assembly with the results of operation and management of the Fund for 2018-2019 (“Report”). The Report initially noted that the policies, regulations on the establishment, use and management of the Fund have been promulgated and supplemented promptly.

From 2017 to 2019, the Fund was used to support 99 entities and called on Ministries, sectors, provincial and city authorities and hospitals to participate in activities to control tobacco harm. The tobacco harm prevention network has been well created and maintained nationwide. At this time, there are 20 related Ministries, sectors and 63/63 provinces have established the Steering Committee on the tobacco harm prevention.

The Report also gives information about the results of the country’s endeavours in reducing the proportion of tobacco smokers in which the duty is to create “an environment without cigarette smoke” has been carried out and seen positive impacts. It is noticeable that in 2018, the proportion of male tobacco smokers in 12 provinces of Vietnam decreased significantly in comparison with 2015. While the proportion of people exposed to cigarette smoke in the workplace fell by around 13%, there was a 16% decrease at universities and colleges and a 15% decrease in public transport with the same proportion.

Nevertheless, according to the Committee on Social Affairs of the National Assembly, the Fund’s financial resources were not used effectively in several aspects. For instance, propaganda activities on tobacco harm and its prevention have not been properly supported by the Fund due to the inefficiency of disbursement. In the Report’s summary of capital expenditures for the Fund, total disbursement of capital declined from over VND 215 billion in 2017 to approximately VND 201 billion in 2018.


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