A Directive (12/2007/CT_TTg) was signed on 12 May 2007 with the aim of strengthening tobacco control measures to reduce the harm of smoking. In December 2007 the Prime Minster signed a decision to “intensify the move into line with international convention on anti-smoking.” Smoking is completely banned in educational facilities, government offices, indoor workplaces, public transport where there is a fire risk. Smoking areas allowed in other indoor public places, including the following: restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, stadiums, indoor entertainment places, waiting areas at bus terminals, and other crowded places. A 2008 Directive bans smoking in medical establishments, including hospitals. Compliance with the ban is good in meeting rooms, cinemas, theatres, inner city buses and some offices, but it is commonly violated in other places. 32 smokefree restaurants are promoted to tourists via leaflets. There is growing public pressure for smokefree shopping centres and malls.
There are also plans for a smokefree Hanoi with the aim of achieving this by 2010.
Smokefree resources available in 2009
Vietnam has several tobacco control organizations that receive support from the Bloomberg Initiative (see www.tobaccocontrolgrants.org) in the form of:
VINACOSH (Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health). It runs two projects – strategic communication campaign to support the adoption of a strong tobacco control law and the implementation of smokefree environments; establishing support for a sustainable funding for tobacco control and health promotion in Vietnam.
Vietnam Association of Public Health – advocacy and support for strengthening enforcement and advancing smokefree policy in Vietnam using Vietnam Public Health Association networks.
Center for Research and Community Development Services (CDS) – making the tourist city of Ha Long smokefree.
Health Bridge Foundation of Canada – Project to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of smokefree policies in Hanoi.
A steering group has been formed for the smokefree Hanoi project, with representatives from health, trade, culture, sports, tourism, trades unions and the media.
SEATCA www.seatca.org Includes Asia Pacific Report Card: WHO FCTC Articles 6,8, 11 & 13 (October 2008).
Public education materials/implementation or enforcement materials
VINACOSH has published two advocacy materials for policymakers to mobilize support for tobacco control legislation. They are (1)Tobacco control – challenges and solution and (2) Tobacco Control Law- for the public health and nation’s sustainable development.
Factsheets and toolkits have been produced for smokefree Hanoi
Needs related to implementing smokefree policies
Advocacy – study tours to learn best practice from other countries; advocacy workshops for policymakers.
Strengthening VINACOSH’s coordination role in tobacco control initiatives.
Capacity building in designing and implementing communication campaigns.
More guidelines on implementing smokefree policies
Factors helping or hindering the implementation of Article 8
Smokefree models that have been developed.
A strong tobacco control network.
Smoking is still considered normal behaviour.
Tobacco control is not a priority for some policy makers.
Designing and implementing effective campaigns is a big challenge.
Lack of resources.
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