The Concerning Lack of E-cigarette Regulation in Vietnam
The lack of regulation surrounding e-cigarettes in Vietnam is causing concern for public health and tax collection. Doctor Nguyen Hai Cong, head of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases at Military Hospital 175, highlighted that there are approximately 16 million cigarette users in Vietnam. E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular among young people and students, despite the fact that they still contain nicotine which can lead to heart and nerve issues. Many young people are under the misconception that e-cigarettes have no negative health impacts. Doctor Cong stressed the importance of implementing a legal framework to control the production and sale of e-cigarettes in order to reduce smuggling.
Kieu Duong, head of policy and legal at Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, reported that there have been numerous cases of e-cigarette smuggling in recent months. In Hanoi alone, 81 smugglers have been caught in the first six months of this year, resulting in the confiscation of nearly 20,000 items. Additionally, Hai Phong police recently seized a large batch of 54,000 e-cigarettes. Despite these efforts, the current financial penalty for e-cigarette smuggling, set at VND50 million ($2,100), is considered to be too small to deter criminals. Duong emphasized the need for new regulations and policies to be implemented in order to effectively address the issue of e-cigarettes in Vietnam.
In summary, the lack of regulation surrounding e-cigarettes in Vietnam poses risks to public health due to their popularity among young people and students. Additionally, increased smuggling of e-cigarettes is impacting tax collection. It is important for a legal framework to be established and for new regulations and policies to be drafted in order to address these concerns effectively.
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