Tobacco Control Policies in Vietnam: Review on MPOWER Implementation Progress and Challenges

  • Published : 2016.04.14


In Vietnam, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) took effect in March 2005 while MPOWER has been implemented since 2008. This paper describes the progress and challenges of implementation of the MPOWER package in Vietnam. We can report that, in term of monitoring, Vietnam is very active in the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, completing two rounds of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) and three rounds of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS). To protect people from tobacco smoke, Vietnam has issued and enforced a law requiring comprehensive smoking bans at workplaces and public places since 2013. Tobacco advertising and promotion are also prohibited with the exception of points of sale displays of tobacco products. Violations come in the form of promotion girls, corporate social responsibility activities from tobacco manufacturers and packages displayed by retail vendors. Vietnam is one of the 77 countries that require pictorial health warnings to be printed on cigarette packages to warn about the danger of tobacco and the warnings have been implemented effectively. Cigarette tax is 70% of factory price which is equal to less than 45% of retail price and much lower than the recommendation of WHO. However, Vietnam is one of the very few countries that require manufacturers and importers to make "compulsory contributions" at 1-2% of the factory price of cigarettes sold in Vietnam for the establishment of a Tobacco Control Fund (TCF). The TCF is being operated well. In 2015, 67 units of 63 provinces/cities, 22 ministries and political-social organizations and 6 hospitals received funding from TCF to implement a wide range of tobacco control activities. Cessation services have been starting with a a toll-free quit-line but need to be further strengthened. In conclusion, Vietnam has constantly put efforts into the tobacco control field with high commitment from the government, scientists and activists. Though several remarkable achievements have been gained, many challenges remain. To overcome those challenges, implementation strategies that take into account the contextual factors and social determinants of tobacco use in Vietnam are needed.


  1. Vietnamese Government (2013a). Decree 176 on administrative sanctions for violations in health sector.
  2. Vietnamese Government. Decree No. 77/2013/NDD-CP of detailing impelentation of the law on tobacco harm prevention regarding some measures of tobacoo harm prevention. .
  3. World Bank (2015). Data of GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $) [Online].
  4. World Health Organization 2005. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Press.
  5. World Health Organization 2008. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic: The MPOWER package, Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data.
  6. World Health Organization. WHO REPORT ON THE GLOBAL TOBACCO EPIDEMIC, 2009 Implementing smoke-free environments. 2009.
  7. World Health Organization. WHO REPORT on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011 Warning about the dangers of tobacco. 2011.
  8. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic: MPOWER in action - Defeating the global tobacco epidemic. Geneva, Switzerland: 2013.
  9. World Health Organization. Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic: Vietnam Country profile. Geneva, Switzerland: 2015a.
  10. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2015: Raising taxes on tobacco. Geneva, Switzerland: 2015b.
  11. World Lung Foundation. Vietnam Health Communications Campaigns. 2015. Available from:
  12. Prime Minister of Vietnam. Directive No. 12/2007/CT-TTg date May 10, 2007 of the Prime Minister on intensifying tobacco harm prevention and combat activities. 12/2007/CT-TTg. Government document.
  13. Shelley D, Nguyen L, Pham H, et al (2014). Barriers and facilitators to expanding the role of community health workers to include smoking cessation services in Vietnam: a qualitative analysis. BMC Health Serv Res, 14, 606.
  14. Solberg LI, Maciosek MV, Edwards NM, et al (2006). Repeated tobacco-use screening and intervention in clinical practice: health impact and cost effectiveness. Am J Prev Med, 31, 62-71.
  15. Tran DT, Kosik RO, Mandell GA, et al (2013). Tobacco control in Vietnam. Public Health, 127, 109-18.
  16. Tran N, Meyrowitsch DW (2015). The Association Between Pictorial Health Warnings And Quit Smoking Intention Among Male Smokers In Vietnam. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: 2015 17-21 March. Report No.
  17. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Surgeon General Report. How tobacco smoke causes disease.
  18. Vietnam Ministry of Cultural Information and Communication. Circular No 37-VHTT-TT dated 01-07-1995 instruct the implementation of Decree 194/CP about advertising activities on Vietnamese territory. 37-VHTT-TT. Document number.
  19. Vietnam Ministry of Health. Impact of health warnings on cigarette packages on smokers. 2000a. Language: Vietnamese.
  20. Vietnam Ministry of Health. Mandatory labeling requirements on cigarette packages. 2019/2000/QDD-BYT. Government document. Language: Vietnamese.
  21. Vietnam Ministry of Health. National Health Survey 2002 2002.
  22. Vietnam Ministry of Health, Center for Community Development and Research (2009). Research on the compliance and effectiveness of the current health warnings on cigarette packs in Vietnam.
  23. Vietnam Ministry of Health, Hanoi Medical University, General Statictis Office, et al Global Adults Tobacco Survey GATS. Hanoi, Vietnam: 2010. Language: English.
  24. Vietnam Ministry of Health, Hanoi Medical University, General Statictis Office, et al Global Youth Tobacco Survey GYTS. Hanoi, Vietnam: 2014. Language: English.
  25. Vietnam Public Health Association. Annual report 2010. 2010.
  26. Vietnamese Government. Decree No.194-CP on 31st December 1994 on advertising activities on Vietnamese territory. 194/CP. Government document.
  27. Vietnamese Government. Resolution No. 12/2000/NQ-CP dated August 14, 2000 of the Government on "national tobacco control policy" in the period 2000-2010. 12/2000/NQ-CP. Government document.
  28. Vietnamese Government. Decree No. 45/2005/ND-CP dated April 6, 2005 of the Government providing for the sanctioning of administrative violations in the field of health. 45/2005/ND-CP. Government document.
  29. Anh LV, Thanh Huong LT, Tuyet Hanh TT, et al (2010). The compliance of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans in Viet Nam, 2010. Vietnam J Public Health, 8.
  30. Anh PTH, Thu LT, Ross H, et al (2014). Direct and indirect costs of smoking in Vietnam. Tob Control, 10, 1136.
  31. Bich NN, Son DM (2006). The views of consumers about the health warnings on cigarette packet. Vietnam J Public Health, 5, 8-14.
  32. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses - United States, 2000-2004. Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report, 57, 1226-8.
  33. Duy KV (2004). Research on interest, belief of community towards the displayed format of health warnings on cigarette packages. Health Bridge Canada, Language: Vietnamese.
  34. Jamison DT BJ, Measham AR, et al., (editors) (2006). Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries Washington (DC): World Bank.
  35. Levy DT, Bales S, Lam NT, et al (2006). The role of public policies in reducing smoking and dealths caused by smoking in Vietnam: Results from the Vietnam tobacco policy simulation model. Soc Sci Med, 62, 1819-30.
  36. Mathers CD, Loncar D (2006). Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. Plos Med, 3, 442.
  37. Minh HV, Giang KB, Chung LH (2015). Assessing health, economic and social equity impacts of graphic health warning label interventions in Viet Nam. Hanoi, Vietnam: Hanoi Medical University.
  38. Ministry of Finance. Circular No. 168/1998/TT-BTC of December 21, 1998, guiding the implementation of Decree No.84/1998/ND-CP of october 12, 1998 of the Government detailing the implementation of the special consumption tax (SCT) law. Language: Vietnam.
  39. Ministry of Health, International Development Enterprise IDE (2006). Research and Development of a new system of health warnings on cigarette packages in Vietnam. Final Report.
  40. Ministry of Industry and Trade. Circular No. 37/2013/TT-BCT dated December 30, 2013, stipulating the import of cigarettes and cigars. Language: Vietnam.
  41. Ministry of Trade, The Ministry of Industry. Joint circular No. 01/2007/TTLT-BTM-BCN of January 10, 2007 guiding the import of cigarettes and cigars prescribed in The Government's Decree No. 12/2006/ND-CP of January 23, 2006, detailing the implementation of the commercial Law regarding international goods sale and purchase and goods sale, purchase, processing and transit agency activities with foreign countries. Language: Vietnam.
  42. Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, et al (2004). Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA, 291, 1238-45.
  43. National Assembly of Vietnam. Law on the Protection of People's Health.
  44. National Assembly of Vietnam. Law No. 57/2005/QH11 of November 29, 2005 amending and supplementing a number of articles of The Special Consumption Tax law and The Value Added Tax Law. Language: Vietnam.
  45. National Assembly of Vietnam. Law No. 09/2012/QH13 of June 08, 2012, on tobacco harm prevention. 09/2012/QH13. Government document. Language: Vietnamese.
  46. National Assembly of Vietnam. Law No. 70/2014/QH13 dated November 26, 2014, amendments to some articles of the Law on special excise duty. Language: Vietnam.

Cited by

  1. Prevalence of tobacco smoking in Vietnam: findings from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2015 vol.62, pp.S1, 2017,
  2. Customers’ Perceptions of Compliance with a Tobacco Control Law in Restaurants in Hanoi, Vietnam: A Cross-Sectional Study vol.15, pp.7, 2018,