Vietnam to Regulate E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products

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Vietnam to Regulate E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products
Vietnam to regulate e-cigarettes and tobacco heating products, confirming they are made from tobacco, according to Vietnamplus.

According to Vietnamese news media Vietnamplus, on May 4th, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Health have reached an agreement to regulate e-cigarettes and tobacco heating products that have not yet been circulated. They have also confirmed that heated tobacco is manufactured from tobacco material.


Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Phan Thị Thắng reiterated at the meeting that the identification of novel tobacco products, including heated tobacco and e-cigarettes, to be included in current regulations for supervision, falls within the authority and responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.


During the parliamentary meeting, Vice Chairman Trần Thanh Mẫn emphasized, "We need to have the correct understanding of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and assess their harm. Regulation should be based on international research experience, evidence, and analysis of the impacts on consumers, businesses, and government regulatory agencies.


Pan Shusheng explained that the Ministry of Commerce has been very cautious, only suggesting that heated tobacco products be allowed to circulate like traditional tobacco within two years on a trial basis. The Ministry has also been tasked with developing a trial management mechanism for heated tobacco products based on consensus among various departments. According to Ms. Pan, the Ministry of Commerce referenced the scientific evaluation of heated tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in their research in 2020. As for e-cigarettes, the Ministry of Commerce has suggested further research to develop future policies and has not yet allowed them to be distributed.


The Ministry of Commerce emphasized that this approach is the closest to the Ministry of Health in order to submit to the government, in line with the constitution, investment law, and other relevant regulations, government guidelines, national strategies to reduce tobacco harm, and international conventions. The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health have reached a preliminary consensus to control e-cigarettes that have not yet been circulated, and confirm that heated tobacco is made from tobacco materials.


Pan Shusheng, Deputy Minister of Commerce, ensures that they are carrying out the duties assigned by the government. She referenced Decree No. 106 issued by the government on September 14, 2017, which amended certain provisions of Decree No. 67 from 2013. This decree specifies that the Ministry of Commerce is responsible for coordinating with other departments, agencies, and organizations to conduct research, develop appropriate regulations for managing e-cigarette products, and submit them to the Prime Minister.


Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Ms. Zhao Honglan, also stated: "The classification, purchase, processing, manufacturing, trading, import and export, or sale of tobacco raw materials is the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce.


According to the information presented at a seminar in 2023, the Senior Specialist of the Ministry of Culture and Information, Vũ Công Thảo, stated, "185 countries worldwide have already implemented new tobacco control policies, and Vietnam cannot lag behind. Additionally, the concept of importing and trading these products falls within the scope of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.


The Ministry of Justice has reviewed the draft amendment drafted by the Ministry of Commerce and revised the 67th regulation in order to propose control measures for new types of tobacco to the government.


Minister of Justice Lê Đại Hải stated, "According to the Tobacco Harm Prevention Law, heated tobacco is considered a tobacco product. The Investment Law stipulates that the tobacco industry is a conditional business sector. These are the legal grounds that can be utilized, and it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to enforce them.


During the conclusion of the parliamentary meeting, all representatives agreed to recommend a comprehensive evaluation of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco by the government in 2024. They also agreed on the various departments' views on new tobacco regulation and urged for prompt submission of results to the government. Additionally, there is a plan to amend the Tobacco Harms Prevention Act in 2025 to enhance legal policies regarding e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.


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