New Tobacco Management Policy Urgently Needed in VietnamArvin Peh
On July 4th, Vietnam’s Ministry of Trade is holding meetings to regulate new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
On July 4th, according to the Vietnam Law Newspaper, Tran Thanh Trung, spokesperson for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, mentioned during a media seminar that various departments in Vietnam are currently holding meetings to finalize the regulatory draft for new tobacco products (including e-cigarettes). This new regulation will replace the existing Decree No. 67/2013.
Tran acknowledges that currently, Vietnam does not have a regulatory policy in place for novel tobacco control measures (TCM), hence, such products will not be allowed to be circulated.
These products are mostly imported into our country through means such as personal carry or smuggling, with all commercial and advertising activities being spontaneous and in violation of the law.
Due to the lack of effective regulations and penalties for new tobacco products, acquiring these products has become incredibly easy. This has resulted in the Vietnamese government being unable to collect taxes, while consumers who wish to use these products can only purchase ones with uncertain origins. Furthermore, these untested products pose a risk to their health.
Tran said that the Vietnamese government is still assessing the feasibility of the regulation.
In 2022 and 2023, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health held two formal meetings, and they decided to introduce new legislation to replace the existing Decree 67/2013, which will include new tobacco control policies. Tran stated that despite some remaining issues between the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health, they are working hard to reach a consensus on the new tobacco legislation.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is developing a management plan that closely aligns with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, with the intention of submitting it to the government.
During the seminar, Nguyen Chi Nhan, the head of the Legal Department of the Vietnam Tobacco Association (VTA), expressed the need for the government to promptly establish appropriate regulatory policies for the tobacco industry.
He believes that the market for new tobacco products is still in its early stages, but with rapid growth in recent years, delaying the enactment of regulations will make it even more difficult to manage the market.