In 10 days time the ban on smoking in public spaces will take effect, but many people still have no idea about the new regulation.
In 10 days time the ban on smoking in public spaces, approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, will take effect, but many people still have no idea about the new regulation.
Doctor Nguyen Ngoc Bich of the Vietnam Public Health Association said that in order for the ban to be effective, all people must be informed through an organised mass media campaign and other activities held by local authorities.
Coupled with these activities, Ministry of Health inspectors and other staff should be entrusted with enforcement, Bich added. He compared the idea to enforcement of the helmet regulation, where not only policemen but local watchmen were also responsible for monitoring compliance.
The ban was approved after Ministry of Health statistics revealed that more than 56 percent of men in Vietnam were active smokers, nearly half between 17 and 24 years old. The report also showed that about 60 percent of 13-15 year-old children were passive smokers.
The ban will prohibit smoking in classrooms, preschools, health centres, libraries, cinemas, theatres, factories, office buildings and on public transportation.
Smoking will still be permitted in sports centres, stadiums, exhibition centres, lounges, entertainment centres, restaurants, hotels and discotheques in designated smoking areas.
A provision calls for smoking to be forbidden in all public places by the end of next year. PM Dung asked relevant authorities in the Ministry of Health to take responsibility for enforcing the ban. Fines of between 50,000-100,000 VND will be imposed on violators.
Another regulation required tobacco producers and cigarette importers to inform the Ministry of Health of the tar and nicotine contents in their cigarettes. If the contents exceeded the regulated limit, the companies would received fines ranging from 20-30 million VND (1,000-1,570 USD) per year for each violation./.