Smoking could be banned on public transportation in Vietnam under plans recently unveiled by the Ministry of Transportation, said a high-ranking health ministry official on Friday December 24.
The Ministry of Transportation plans to make almost all public transportation and other enclosed public areas smoke-free, including railway and airline waiting rooms, said Nguyen Ngoc Khang, general secretary of the Vietnamese Committee on Smoking.
Khang highlighted that the ban was an attempt to reduce smoking, especially among Vietnamese teenagers.
Over the past few years, the Ministry of Public Health has attempted to increase its jurisdiction over the marketing and advertising of tobacco products to cut down on the consumption of tobacco products, which Khang said tended to be on the rise.
On November11, 2004, President Tran Duc Luong ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) designed to control tobacco advertising and promotion, smuggling, taxation, treatment and regulation.
In line with the FCTC, Vietnam is expected to pass laws requiring non-smoking sections in all public places such as restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, etc., to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke, stressed Khang.
For now, only some major cities in the country such as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang have begun to require that certain restaurants designate smoking and non-smoking sections for customers, he said.