British American Tobacco (BAT) has made concerted efforts since the late 1980s to establish a major presence in Vietnam, among the world's 10 fastest growing tobacco markets. Until 2000, Vietnam's tight regulation of the industry has been largely driven by trade and investment policy, resulting in a stronger domestic industry but increased production and consumption of tobacco products. BAT gained market access, and achieved a dominant market share among TTCs, through leaf development, licensed manufacturing, and the contraband trade. With impending trade liberalization in Vietnam, the company is now well placed to further expand sales. The ambitious National Tobacco Control Policy, adopted in 2000, signals a shift in political priority towards the protection of public health. Effective implementation and enforcement of its comprehensive measures will depend on the public health community's ability to draw support from regional and global experience, notably the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).