Second-hand smoke plagues Vietnam's restaurants: survey

By VnExpress   November 16, 2016 | 11:49 pm PT
Second-hand smoke plagues Vietnam's restaurants: survey
Most restaurant owners say they fear asking customers to put out their cigarettes will hurt business.

Concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke inhaled in restaurants, bars and cafés are exceptionally high in Vietnam, according to Healthbridge -- a non-profit organization geared toward research and public policy.

The findings were made public on Wednesday during a workshop held to evaluate the risks posed by second-hand tobacco smoke.

Though the exposure rates to second-hand smoke in Vietnam remains high, it has begun to fall, said Hoang Anh -- Healthbridge’s Country Director.

Last year, a Healthbridge survey of 195 restaurants in Hanoi found 81 percent of non-smokers encountered second-hand smoke, down from 85 percent in 2010.

The most recent survey also showed that the government’s tighter regulatory controls over smoking in restaurants have proven effective.

In responding to the multiple-choice survey, 69 percent of restaurant owners said that they were aware of Vietnam's national indoor smoking ban; 85 percent of restaurant patrons said they were in favor of smoke-free environments.

Despite the national bans, a large proportion of the population remains unprotected. The study showed 40 percent of restaurant owners tolerate smoking indoors for fear of losing business.

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