- In Vietnam, approximately one-fourth of the adult population smokes (24 percent).
- Nearly half of men (47 percent) and 1.4 percent of women smoke.
- Among youth (age 13-15), 3 percent currently smoke cigarettes and 1 percent use other forms of tobacco products.
- Approximately 75,000 Vietnamese die each year from smoking-related causes.
- Among youth (13-15), 71 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 58.5 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
The Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation, a government owned tobacco company, holds almost half (44 percent) of the cigarette market share. International tobacco companies hold over 37 percent of the cigarette market share in Vietnam. In 2008, British American Tobacco led with 28 percent of market share, followed by Imperial Tobacco (8 percent), Philip Morris International (1.5 percent), and Japan Tobacco (0.4 percent). In Vietnam, more than 81 billion cigarettes were sold in 2008.
Vietnam ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on December 17, 2004.
Tobacco Control Policy Status
Smoke Free Places: Smoking is banned on 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 rooms with ventilation for smoking can be designated.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Tobacco advertising and promotion, including direct marketing to consumers, are prohibited, with the exception of point of sale displays of tobacco products. Tobacco product displays are restricted to one pack, carton, or box of one cigarette brand. Tobacco businesses are allowed to conduct “philanthropy” sponsorship for hunger eradication and poverty reduction programs; prevention and control of natural disasters, epidemics, disasters; and for combating cigarette smuggling. These sponsorships cannot be publicized in the mass media. Other tobacco sponsorships are prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Tobacco products must carry pictorial health warnings covering 50 percent of the front and back of unit and outside packaging and labeling. Six prescribed warnings must be concurrently displayed for a two-year period, after which the warnings must be changed. As of November 8, 2013, all packs of tobacco products are required to display the prescribed health warnings. The law does not distinguish between smoked and smokeless tobacco products with respect to health warnings requirements. The government is required to increase the size of warnings within a certain time period it deems “suitable”. As of the date of this review, the warning size increase and time period have not been specified. 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.
Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Viet Nam are well below these recommendations.
Updated: April 2014