In what is being called a “historic and important milestone” Vietnam has passed a law banning smoking in pubic places and all tobacco advertising. The law also makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. Director of the anti-smoking campaign group Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, Bungon Ritthiphakdee said, “We are very happy about this development.” He also added that the law was strong and and in line with the WHO-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Of course any tobacco laws in Vietnam would have to be incredibly strong considering the fact that there are currently 15.3 million smokers (47.4 percent of adult males) in Vietnam. A law in 2010 was already passed banning smoking in public places, including hospitals, office buildings, schools and on public transport but it was widely ignored in the country where tobacco can be bought on almost every corner.
One thing that many have not addressed, however, is the affect that this may have on a global basis. The fact is that more and more countries are adopting public smoking bans, so it is a subject that needs to be approached with tempered reason. After all, what works for one country may not work for others, especially in the US where products such as good quality e cigarette starter kits are available.