Introduction: Since Vietnam has signed WHO framework on tobacco control (FCTC) in 2003 and has issued tobacco control law in 2013, there has been little research concerning about what impacts smoke-free regulations have had on public compliance. The objective of this study was to assess public exposure to secondhand smoke and reaction toward smoke-free policy regulations in Vietnam and the associated factor.
Methods: Using the design of GATS (Global Adult Tobacco Survey), a nationally representative sample of 8,996 adults were approached for data collection. Logistic regression was used to examine the associated factor.
Results: The study revealed that the prevalence of respondents exposed to secondhand smoke was much higher in bars/café/tea shops (90.07%) and restaurants (81.81%) than in any other public places, universities (36.70%), government buildings (31.12%), public transport (20.04%), healthcare facilities (17.85%) and schools (15.84%). 13.23% of respondents saw smokers violate smoke-free regulations. Among those who saw them violate smoke-free regulations, just one-third cautioned them to stop smoking. Strikingly, a higher rate of cautioning smokers to stop smoking was observed among the older, married, and better educated respondents. Respondents who were married, better educated and in lower economic status were more likely to remind smokers to stop smoking.
Conclusions: The study has called for strengthening two of the six MPOWER (Monitor, Protect, Offer, Warn, Enforce and Raise) components of the tobacco free initiative introduced by WHO, Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies and Protecting people from tobacco smoke.
Keywords: GATS (Global adults tobacco survey); MPOWER; SHS (Secondhand smoke); Smoke-free environment policy; Smoke-free regulations; Vietnam.