Viet bans indoor smoking
AFP/25 August 2009
Hanoi – Viet Nam will ban smoking in indoor public places next year and raise tobacco taxes to curb demand for cigarettes, the government said in a statement seen on Tuesday.
Smoking will be illegal in schools, kindergartens, cinemas, office buildings and on public transport, said a statement posted on the government’s website.
The statement did not say whether indoor restaurants would be included in the ban, which will take effect on Jan 1.
Tariffs on tobacco products and imported cigarettes will be raised, but the government did not specify by how much.
Retail sales of cigarettes will be allowed only in certain locations and a ban on selling cigarettes to people under 18 will be more rigorously applied, the government said.
Cigarette-smoking is widespread in Vietnam, which has one of the world’s highest male smoking rates and where cigarettes are widely available at small streetside kiosks.
Men in rural areas also like to relax with large traditional pipes made of bamboo filled with strong tobacco.
Advertising for tobacco is banned in public places in the communist nation of about 86 million people.