Hanoi tourist destinations to go smoke-free

HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) - Some of Hanoi’s major tourism locations will become smoke-free this month as part of a new initiative.

The ban will also include a number of hotels and restaurants who will face fines if they don’t clearly display no smoking signs.

The destinations, including famous landmarks such as Ngoc Son Temple, Ba Kieu Temple, Vietnam National Museum of History, Vietnam Museum of Revolution, Quan Su Pagoda, Ba Da Pagoda, Hanoi Opera House, St Joseph's Cathedral and National Library of Vietnam.

Pham Thi Thanh Nhan, head of the district’s Health Office addressed a workshop held by the People’s Committee on Tuesday called “Deploying a smoke-free tourism model in Hoàn Kiếm District”.

She said the ban would run until the end of the year with no-smoking signs already installed at many locations.

Anyone caught smoking in prohibited areas will be fined between VND100,000 – 300,000 (US$4.3-13).  Restaurants not displaying signs will be fined between VND 3-5 million ($129-216).

Luong Ngoc Khue, head of Medical Examination and Treatment Management Department under the Ministry of Health said he welcomed the move.

In Vietnam, it was also previously applied in cities of Hoi An, Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Hue.

Khuê added applying the smoke-free model in tourist destinations was a part of the implementation of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms. The greater significance of the move was applying a humanitarian policy and for public health.

Tobacco use is a major cause of lung diseases, typically lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In Vietnam, the ratio of lung cancer patients who smoke is 96.8 per cent. Secondhand smoke also causes lung diseases in children.