MOH, MOP partner to strengthen enforcement of smoke-free environment

To strengthen enforcement of smoke-free environment as defined under the Law on Control and Prevention of Tobacco Harms, the Ministry of Health, represented by the Tobacco Control (TC) Fund, and the Ministry of Police, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Office in Viet Nam, held a one-day workshop on 17 October 2018 in Hai Phong, Viet Nam, with more than 200 police officers and hotel/restaurant owners/managers from the said city in attendance. The workshop aims to build capacity for police officers, hotel and restaurant owners in the implementation of smoke-free environment for healthy living. A similar workshop will be organized in Thai Nguyen city on 31 October.

Dr Kidong Park giving speech at the workshop

“The MOP in the past few years had focussed on building capacity and strengthening implementation of smoke-free environment within the MOP system. It is time now for us to expand the efforts to the outside.” said Mr Pham Tu Do, Deputy Director General, Medical Administration, MOP, in his opening speech.

The participants were briefed on key contents of the Law on Control and Prevention of Tobacco Harms regarding smoke-free environment and other related legal documents. They were also oriented on the harmful effects of smoking and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. The benefits of having a smoke-free environment were additionally discussed to further encourage the participants to do their part in the initiative. “We are very pleased to see the increasing efforts by the Ministry of Police on enforcement side. You are enforcing the law, protecting the environment, and saving people’s lives,” Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Viet Nam acknowledged the contribution of strict law enforcement in the anti-smoking drive.

I am also very pleased to see many hotel and restaurant owners and manager participating in the workshop today. Your implementation of smoke-free hotels and restaurant will help ensure compliance with the law, protect the health of your hotel staff and customers, and help increase the satisfaction of your customers who will enjoy a smoke-free environment in your facilities.

Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative to Viet Nam

Dr Park also expressed appreciation of the cooperation demonstrated by hotel/restaurant owners/managers.

Hai Phong and Thai Nguyen were selected as the model for the monitoring and enforcement by police officers to strengthen compliance with the aim to expand to other cities.

Aside from law enforcement, a number of other anti-smoking initiatives have also been in implementation in Viet Nam. One of these is #Respect, a social media campaign led by WHO Viet Nam, in collaboration with key partners, including TC Fund-MOH, encourages everyone’s participation in calling for respect for the law and respect for others’ health by taking action to stop indoor smoking and contribute in reducing second-hand smoke exposure. The campaign was launched in September 2018 and would run up to the end of the year.

More on #Respect: Please help us spread the word by reacting to and sharing the campaign posts. We also encourage you to share your experience related to second-hand smoke exposure by commenting on the related images, infographics and videos published weekly. New materials are posted on WHO Viet Nam’s Facebook page every Wednesday. You may also show your support to the campaign by using the #Respect Facebook profile frame.