Hanoi steps up smoke free zone


HANOI, 6 March 2015: Hanoi has unveiled a plan to develop ‘no-smoking’ tourism zones in an attempt to build a friendly and healthy image for both domestic and international visitors.

Local media reported the plan will establish samples, such as “no-smoking tourist sites”, “no-smoking restaurants and hotels” and “no-smoking offices”, particularly in popular public spots, such as the Old Quarter, shopping malls and the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Besides posters and leaflets, the city will tap media and radio stations to spread the message on the harmful effects of smoking.

To put the campaign in context, Hanoi is also plagued by two-stroke motor cycle smoke that experts say is as dangerous to health as smoking.

inside no 4Last year, the capital city welcomed 16.5 million tourists, including 3 million international tourists, up 16% from 2013.

Vietnam’s Law on Tobacco Harm Prevention, which took effect 1 May 2013, bans smoking in public places, but the regulation has not been enforced.

Ho Chi Minh City has recommended that hotels become no-smoking zones to make them more environmentally friendly for visitors. More than 390 hotels and restaurants in the city are already smoke-free as part of a municipal programme to create a non-smoking environments in restaurants and hotels. The project was started three years ago as is a voluntary exercise at the moment.