Effective Policies Needed for Managing New-Generation Tobacco Products in Vietnam
In Vietnam, the market for new-generation tobacco products lacks proper management policies and regulations. These products are circulating without proper authorization. On July 4th, a conference titled “Responsible Control of New Tobacco Products” was organized by the Phap Luat Vietnam newspaper. During the conference, representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade acknowledged the absence of management policies and legal permission for new-generation tobacco products (NGTP) in Vietnam.
Lack of Management Policies
According to Mr. Tran Thanh Trung, from the Food Industry Division, Industrial Promotion Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade, new-generation tobacco products in Vietnam currently lack management policies and legal authorization for circulation. These products are primarily imported into the country through informal channels, such as personal luggage and smuggling. As a result, there is a lack of quality control and oversight regarding their origin. All business activities and advertisements related to these products are unregulated, violating legal provisions.
Easy Access and Negative Consequences
However, due to the absence of management measures and sanctions, accessing these products is relatively easy. This, in turn, leads to various consequences. The state loses out on taxes, and individuals who wish to use new-generation tobacco products have to rely on unverified sources that are not subject to quality control, potentially endangering their health.
Additional information provided by Mr. Tran Thanh Trung reveals that in 2022 and 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health held two official meetings to complete the draft decree to replace Decree 67. This decree details certain provisions and measures for the implementation of the Law on Prevention and Control of the Harmful Effects of Tobacco on Tobacco Business. The draft also includes proposals for new tobacco product management policies.
Although there are still some obstacles between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health, they are striving for agreement regarding the management of new tobacco products. Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is developing a management plan that closely aligns with the Ministry of Health’s opinions in order to submit it to the Government.
Recommendations for Early Implementation of Appropriate Management Policies
Representing the tobacco industry, Mr. Nguyen Chi Nhan, Head of the Legislation and Training Committee of the Vietnam Tobacco Association (VTA), proposes that the Government promptly enact appropriate management policies for new-generation tobacco products. Mr. Nhan believes that the current market is still in its early stages. However, with the rapid growth experienced in recent years, delaying the implementation of policies will make the management of these products even more challenging.
The lack of management policies for new-generation tobacco products in Vietnam poses significant challenges. It allows unregulated circulation, leading to potential health risks for individuals and tax losses for the state. Recognizing this issue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health are working towards a consensus on the management of these products. It is crucial for the Government to take prompt action and establish appropriate policies to effectively regulate the market and ensure the safety and well-being of the population.