THE PRIME MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
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No: 12/2007/CT-TTg
Hanoi , May 10, 2007
 
DIRECTIVE
ON INTENSIFYING TOBACCO HARM PREVENTION AND COMBAT ACTIVITIES
On August 14, 2000, the Government issued Resolution No. 12/2000/NQ-CP on national policies on tobacco harm prevention and combat in the 2000-2010 period. After six years' implementing the Resolution, initial encouraging results have been achieved. The community now has a greater awareness and a deeper understanding of tobacco harms to health. The number of people who voluntarily give up smoking is growing. However, as compared with set objectives, the results of tobacco harm prevention and combat remain limited. Vietnam is still among countries with the highest smoker percentages in the world. According to the World Health Organization's forecasts, unless preventive measures are taken in time, about 10% of the Vietnamese population will die young of tobacco-related diseases. According to a recent national medical survey, the percentage of male smokers tends to increase; the percentage of children being second smokers is very high; and smoking in public places remains popular.
Above existing problems are attributed to the fact that communication and education about tobacco harm prevention and combat have not been carried out in a regular, drastic and persuasive manner, failing to develop proper public awareness about tobacco harms. Coordination among branches in tobacco harm prevention and combat remains weak while social resources have not been fully tapped for tobacco harm prevention and combat. Tobacco advertisement, sales promotion and marketing as well as sponsorship are still carried out by tobacco companies in different forms. Tobacco prices are still incapable of restraining the consumption of tobacco products by smokers. Health warnings printed on cigarette packs are too general, failing to make a strong impression on consumers and, therefore, see limited warning effects on tobacco addicts and potential smokers, especially children.
In order to intensify tobacco harm prevention and combat and realize Vietnam's commitments on the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), striving to achieve the objectives set in the national policies on tobacco harm prevention and combat by 2010, the Prime Minister instructs:
I. INCREASING MEASURES FOR TOBACCO HARM PREVENTION AND COMBAT
1. Communication and education about tobacco harm prevention and combat:
a/ To enhance communication and education about tobacco harm prevention and combat on the mass media, in agencies, workplaces and among the community in order to raise public awareness and change behaviors of people for tobacco harm prevention and combat. To propagate and mobilize cadres, civil servants, state employees and members of mass organizations to refrain from smoking;
b/ To propagate and mobilize people to reduce and then stop the use and offer of cigarettes at wedding parties, funerals, festivals and family parties.
2. Strict enforcement of the ban on smoking in workplaces and indoor public places:
a/ To ban smoking in classrooms, kindergartens, medical establishments, indoor production areas and workplaces; places highly prone to fire and explosion; and mass transit vehicles. "No smoking" signs or symbols must be put up at places where smoking is banned;
b/ To arrange separate smoking areas at indoor public places (libraries, cinemas, theaters, cultural houses, sports competition facilities, roofed stadiums, exhibition centers, lounges of stations, car terminals, airports and seaports) and indoor recreational and entertainment areas, restaurants, bars, karaoke parlors, hotels and dance halls;
c/ To treat violations of regulations on tobacco harm prevention and combat as violations of internal rules and regulations of agencies, units and public places.
3. Implementation of the FCTC's provisions on the printing of health warnings on cigarette packs according to a set roadmap:
a/ As from March 17, 2008, to print the health warning "Smoking can cause lung cancer" on the background of contrasting color, accounting for around 30% of the surface area of a cigarette pack; as from January 1, 2010, to print the health warning on around 50% of the surface area of a cigarette pack.
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