Tobacco products to face higher taxes
HA NOI (VNS)– The Ministry of Health (MoH) has proposed that the Government increases the cost of tobacco for consumers in a bid to tackle the high number of smokers and passive smokers in Viet Nam.
The proposal calls for a higher level of tax on all tobacco products and for the minimum price for cigarettes sold in duty free shops to be more tightly regulated.
The MoH has set a number of targets to limit the harmful effects of tobacco from now up to 2020. It aims to lower the rate of male smokers from 47.4 per cent to 39 per cent, and the number of young smokers (between the age of 15-24 years old) from 26 per cent to 18 per cent. They also hope to keep the ratio of women smokers under 1.4 per cent.
The ministry also wants to slash the rate of people exposed to cigarettes smoke at healthcare centres from 24 to 14 per cent, and at educational institutions from 22 to 12 per cent.
Currently the rate of passive smokers at work is 56 per cent, which the MoH hopes to reduce to 26 per cent. Similarly, the ratio at restaurants will be pulled down to 50 per cent from 80 per cent and on public transportation to 16 from 34 per cent.
MoH statistics rate Vietnamese males as the fifteenth highest smokers in the world.
A survey in 2010 revealed that there were 15.3 million smokers in the country and about 8 million others are exposed to cigarettes smoke at work, with a staggering 47 million passive smokers at home.
The health ministry also reports 40,000 fatal cases relating to smoking in Viet Nam each year. Meanwhile the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the figure will increase to 70,000 by 2030 if effective measures to reduce smokers are not applied. – VNS