Big tobacco, tiny targets in Vietnam
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Development and Policies Research Center, Hanoi, Vietnam
Nguyen Mai Ha   

Development and Policies Research Center, Hanoi, Vietnam
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A119
Tobacco retailer violation on Tobacco Advertising and Promotion activities have prevented efforts of Vietnam’s National Assembly in protecting present and future generations from the devastating health. Although Vietnam’s National Assembly issued a variety of laws and legal documents on the tobacco control, there are still no effective sanctions for violations of the points of sale. As a result, these violations have persisted.

Our study focused on providing strong evidences on tobacco retailers’ violations to persuade relevant authorities and policy advocates into further changing the regulations, as well as improving law enforcement.

We performed a wide range of activities in the data collecting period, including: • Conduct the investigation at 210 schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. • Use the Global Positioning System to locate retailers within a 100-meter radius surrounding selected schools. • Identify tobacco points of sale (POS) in the designated areas and monitor them by using a KoBoToolbox form integrated with taking pictures.

In general, there was a high proportion of observed retailers who sold tobacco products within 100-meter radius surrounding schools (70.41%), and committing the Article 25 of the Law on Tobacco Harm Prevention. 58.24% POSs displayed tobacco products at a child’s eye level. 23.81% POSs sold tobacco products without graphic health warnings, and violating the Article 15 of the Law on Tobacco Harm Prevention. 33.05% POSs contravened the Article 9 of the law when advertising the tobacco products around schools. On the other hand, we found very little evidence that the POSs used price discounts, gifts, and free tobacco products as tobacco purchase incentives.

There was a large share or proportion of tobacco retailers breaking laws on tobacco control. Vietnam’s National Assembly should improve law enforcement and strengthen sanctions on violations of tobacco selling, displaying, and marketing to children and young people.