Resolution No. 12/2000/NQ-CP dated August 14, 2000 of the Government on “national tobacco control policy” in the period 2000-2010
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Hanoi, August 14, 2000
ON “NATIONAL TOBACCO CONTROL POLICY” IN THE PERIOD 2000-2010
Tobacco causes many dangerous diseases such as lung cancer, cardiac infarction, arteriosclerosis and respiratory diseases. According to a survey carried out in 1997, the rate of male smokers in Vietnam was 50% and the corresponding rate for female smokers was 3.4%. It is estimated that 10% of the present population (about more than 7 million) now alive will die prematurely due to tobacco-related diseases out of whom 3.7 million will die during their middle age. In accordance with the prediction of WHO, the mortality rate due to tobacco will, by 2020, be higher than the aggregate mortality rate due to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, road accidents and suicides added altogether.
In addition to harmful effects on health, smoking also causes many big economic losses to society as a whole and to every household. It is estimated that in Vietnam, the contribution of the tobacco industry to the national budget accounts just for 1/3 of the amount (about VND 6,000 billion) that people spend on tobacco.
The Government of Vietnam, basing on the evidence, decides upon the promulgation of a "National Tobacco Control Policy" for the 2000 - 2010 period.
1. Overall objective
To reduce the demand for tobacco products so as to control and gradually reduce the supply of tobacco products in order to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to tobacco-related diseases.
2. Specific objectives
a. Reduce the proportion of male smokers from 50% to 20%.
b. Reduce the proportion of female smokers to a level below 2%.
c. Reduce the proportion of young smokers (15 - 24 years of age), from 26% to 7%.
d. Protect the rights of non-smokers to breathe clean, smoke-free air.
e. Reduce tobacco-related losses for individuals, families and society as a whole.
1. Policies to reduce demand for tobacco products
a. Health education (information, education and communication)
A strategy for information, education and communication for reducing the demand for tobacco products must be made.
Ensuring that the whole population is provided with relevant and reliable information about tobacco as related to health hazards, financial consequences, legal aspects and social norms.
Promoting information - education - communication activities, the cultural village and family movement at the communities, especially among the youth via education activities at school.
Providing adequate training and instruction for medical professionals to get them being able to give consultation to patients and their relatives with relevant information about health hazards as well as the bad effects of the tobacco smoke on health and methods for smoking cessation.
b. Strict control over advertising, sales promotion and sponsorship of different types
Banning all forms of both direct and indirect advertising of tobacco products including the use of brands of tobacco products, trademarks and logos on non-tobacco products and services.
Strictly prohibiting the organization of marketing activities, including the use of the system of marketing staff for sales promotion and printing of trademarks or labels on vehicles.
Strictly conforming to the Trade Law in which it is regulated that commercially initiated free distribution of cigarettes and similar marketing methods of tobacco products to children under 16 are prohibited.
Banning domestic organizations from receiving sponsorship from tobacco companies for cultural, art and sport events related to tobacco advertising.
c. Health warnings
Health warnings are obligatory to be visibly and clearly printed on all packets of tobacco products. The health warnings must be impressive, highly visible and carry a strong, brief message. It must also in the coming future show the hazardous contents (especially nicotine and tar) on every pack of tobacco.
d. Taxes and prices of tobacco products
Tobacco is a type of harmful goods of which the consumption must not be encouraged, thus taxes imposed on tobacco products must be at a high level.
The Government should regulate prices of tobacco products so as to prevent dumping prices.
e. Smoking cessation support
Encouraging, organizing and supporting smoking cessation methods and exploring smoking cessation methods which are appropriate with the Vietnamese context.
Increasing training for health staff as regards different appropriate affordable methods of smoking cessation for every target group.
Promoting the role of every individual, the family, community and society in encouraging smokers to give up smoking.
f. Smoke-free areas
Smoking is banned at meetings, offices, health facilities, schools, kindergartens, cinemas, theatres and on public transport means, crowded places. Smoking areas should be regulated.
Encouraging and recommending people not to smoke at social festivals, weddings, funerals ect.
2. Policies to reduce supply of tobacco products
a. Strict control over tobacco production
The Government shall have the monopoly in cigarette production. only public enterprises and licensed joint-ventures under good conditions according to the regulations of the Government are allowed to produce tobacco products. Enterprises are not allowed to extent their investment or make new investments to exceed the present level of total cigarette production capacity.
New projects on cooperation, production or joint ventures with foreign countries in producing cigarettes must be ceased and no more cigarettes of foreign brands are produced.
Securing the standards of tobacco quality according to the standards of Vietnam. Gradually reducing the level of nicotine and tar content of Vietnamese cigarettes to the level now applied in developed countries.
Strictly controlling the printing of cigarette trademarks and packages in order to prevent the production of fake cigarettes or fake cigarette brands.
Workers of the tobacco industry must be guaranteed to work in a hygienic environment as regulated.
b. Control of cigarette trading
Tobacco is a type of goods of which trading is limited in accordance with the regulation of the Decree 11/1999/ND-CP dated 3/3/1999 of the Government. The Government must control the circulation and consumption of cigarettes on the market, gradually take the monopoly in wholesale trade and strictly control the retail trade of tobacco products.
Banning sales of tobacco products to people under age 18.
Taking strict measures to prevent and handle the production and consumption of fake tobacco products and faked cigarette brands.
c. Banning tobacco importation
The Government should keep the policy on banning the importation and circulation of foreign cigarettes in the market of Vietnam according to the 278/CT Instruction by the Prime Minister dated 3/8/1990.
d. Controlling smuggling of tobacco products
Intensifying inspection and strictly handling violations.
Developing a movement in which the whole population is engaged in preventing smuggling, transporting, sales and consumption of smuggled cigarettes. Certain financial incentives to promote the movement of preventing smuggling and sales of smuggled cigarettes should be applied.
Strengthening economic solutions, creating jobs with sustainable income for people living on border areas so that they volunteer not to get involved in transporting and lending a hand to cigarette smuggling via borders.
3. Expanding international cooperation in tobacco control
Promoting an international exchange of experiences and first of all among countries in the region as regards formulation and implementation of policies and strategies to reduce demand and supply of tobacco products.
Exploring possibilities for increased technical and financial support from bilateral and multilateral donors as well as from NGOs to the National Tobacco Control Policy.
4. Implementation of national tobacco control policies of the 2000 - 2010 period
Establishing a National Tobacco Control Program to organize the implementation of national tobacco control policies.
Authorities at all levels are responsible for guiding and supervising the implementation of national tobacco control policies.
All ministries, sectors and People's Committees at all levels in collaboration with the Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations should mobilize people, in particular young people, not to start smoking and encourage smokers to reduce and give up smoking.
Preparations should be made to issue Law on Tobacco Control.
5. Implementation of National Tobacco Control Program
The Minister of Health is assigned to be the Head of this National Tobacco Control Program.
The standing body of the Program should be located at the Ministry of Health.
The leaders of the following Ministries should participate in the Steering Board of the Program: Ministries of Trade; Culture and Information; Industry; Finance; Agriculture and Rural Development; Education and Training; Planning and Investment; Justice; Science, Technology and Environment; Vietnamese Committee of Child Care and Protection. The Vietnamese Fatherland Front; Vietnamese Confederation; Farmers' Organization; Women's Union; Youth Union; Veterans' Association should assign representatives to participate in the Steering Committee of the Program.
The Steering Committee of the Program is in charge of developing and organizing the implementation of the national tobacco control plan of the 2000 - 2010 period.
6. All ministries, ministerial bodies, Government offices and People's Committee at all levels should organize and implement the National Tobacco Control Policy of 2000 – 2010 period.
The Vietnamese Fatherland Front and other socio-political organizations should collaborate with the health sector and concerned Government bodies to mobilize the whole population to actively support and participate in tobacco control activities to protect people's health so as to improve the quality of people's life and promote the socio-economic development of the country.
ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT
Phan Van Khai