A new website has been launched with the target of collecting one million signatures in support of a Vietnamese anti-smoking bill, a Health Ministry agency said on March 14.
The logo of the http://clickkhongthuocla.vn website, part of a recently launched campaign striving to collect one million signatures in support of an anti-smoking bill in Vietnam
Through the site, young people are offered a forum to exchange knowledge about the harmful effects of tobacco on human health.
It also offers the chance to take initiatives in controlling and preventing smoking in the country, and to lobby for the establishment of non-smoking environments.
Under the bill, people under the age of 18 would be banned from smoking and the selling of tobacco to children would be prohibited.
Smoking would be banned in public areas including bus stations, restaurants, cinemas, offices and hospitals.
Advertisements of tobacco in any form would be banned and the manufacturing of tobacco products must comply with regulations on goods labeling.
The bill also proposes an increase in tax on tobacco products to deter smokers. Accordingly, such a tax would make up 66-80 percent of retail tobacco prices.
Currently, more than 20 million people smoke in Vietnam, one of the highest rates in the world, according to VINACOSH.
Some 40,000 smoking-related deaths were reported in 2008 in the country, and the toll is expected to increase to 50,000 deaths annually by 2023, it added.