Last updated: May 30, 2023
Viet Nam became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on March 17, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is banned in the entire indoor and outdoor premises of health facilities, educational facilities (other than universities, colleges, and academic institutes where smoking is prohibited indoors only), and childcare and entertainment areas designated for children. In other public places and workplaces, smoking is prohibited indoors, with the exception of airport waiting areas, bars, karaoke lounges, discos, hotels, and guesthouses, where designated smoking rooms are permitted. Smoking is prohibited on most forms of public transport, with designated smoking rooms allowed on ships and trains.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Tobacco advertising and promotion is prohibited, with the exception of point of sale displays of tobacco products. Tobacco product displays are restricted to one pack, carton, or box of each cigarette brand. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship and the publicity of such sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Rotating combined picture and text health warnings are required to cover 50 percent of the front and back of unit and outside packaging and labeling. The government is required to increase the size of warnings within a certain time period it deems “suitable”. Misleading terms and “forms” are prohibited on tobacco products; however, an exemption applies to terms that comprise brand names registered as intellectual property prior to the effective date of the 2012 Tobacco Control Law.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law does not currently regulate the contents of cigarettes. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines and in places where smoking is prohibited, which includes schools and universities, entertainment areas designed for children, healthcare facilities, sports facilities, and cultural facilities. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of small packets of cigarettes. There are no restrictions on the sale of tobacco products via the internet or the sale of single cigarettes. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. However, Vietnam Tobacco Corporation (VINATABA) is the only corporation allowed to import e-cigarettes. There are no restrictions on the use; advertising, promotion and sponsorship; or packaging and labeling of e-cigarettes.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
In 2000, the Government of Viet Nam introduced its National Tobacco Control Policy in Government Resolution No. 12/2000/NQ-CP. This resolution set out policy objectives on numerous aspects of tobacco control including, but not limited to: public education; prohibitions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; health warnings; tax and price; smoking cessation; and restrictions on public smoking. To implement the National Tobacco Control Policy, the government issued a series of government decrees and prime ministerial directives that both provided substantive regulations and elaborated frameworks and plans for implementing the FCTC. Over the years, protections gradually expanded and in 2012, the National Assembly enacted the comprehensive Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms, which significantly strengthened tobacco control policy in Viet Nam. To date, implementing regulations for the 2012 law have been promulgated for packaging and labeling requirements (2013 Joint Circular on the Labeling, Printing the Health Warnings on the Packet of Tobacco Products) and smoke-free places (Circular No. 11/2023/TT-BYT, Regulation on Enforcement of Smoke-Free Places and Nomination for Tobacco-Free Award). Sanctions for most violations are provided in Government Decree No. 176/2013/NĐ-CP on Sanctions on Administrative Violations of Public Health and Decree No. 75/2010/ND-CP on Fining Violations in Cultural Sector. Decree No. 147/2013/ND-CP establishes the sanctions for violation of the ban on smoking in civil aircraft.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.