On July 4, Tran ThanhTrung, a spokesman for Vietnam’s Ministry of Trade, said at a media seminar that Vietnamese state ministries are holding working meetings to finalize a draft decree regulating new tobacco products (including e-cigarettes), which would replace the existing Decree 67/2013, according to a report in the Vietnam Law Journal.
Tran Thanh Trung acknowledged that Vietnam currently does not have a policy to regulate new tobacco products (TCM), and thus such products will not be allowed to circulate.
“Most of these products are imported into the country through hand-carried and smuggled methods, and all commercial and advertising activities are spontaneous and violate laws and regulations.”
Since there are no regulatory measures and sanctions for new tobacco products, it is very easy to obtain these products. This has resulted in the Vietnamese government being unable to collect taxes, while consumers who want to use them have to buy products of unknown origin, which are not monitored for quality and affect their health.
Tran Thanh Trung said the Vietnamese government is still assessing the feasibility of the decree.
In 2022 and 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health have held two official meetings and they have decided to introduce a new decree to replace the existing Decree 67/2013, which will contain new tobacco management policies. Tan Thanh Trung said that although the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health still have some problems on many things, they are trying to reach a consensus on the new tobacco decree.
“The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working on a management plan that is closest to the views of the Ministry of Health to be submitted to the government.”
At the seminar, NguyenChiNhan, head of the legal department of the Vietnam Tobacco Association (VTA), said the government should enact a management policy suitable for the tobacco industry as soon as possible.
He believes the market for new tobacco products is still in its infancy, but with the country’s rapid growth, delays in issuing decrees will make the market more difficult to manage.