Vietnam passes law banning ads for baby formula, tobacco

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Vietnam's National Assembly on Thursday passed the Advertisement Law, banning advertisements of diary products for under 12-month old children, as an effort to promote breastfeeding habit.

Other products banned from advertisements include tobacco, wine with at least 15 percent of alcohol, medicine that needs to be used with care, aphrodisiacs, guns and bullets and sports weapons.

The ban of diary products follows recommendations from the World Health Organization and the UNICEF, the NA's Standing Committee said.

Figures from Vietnam's National Institute of Nutrition in 2010 showed that only 19.6 percent of babies under six months old in Vietnam are fed exclusively with breast milk, which is highly recommended as beneficial for children's immune system and their growth.

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The law also bans advertisements that reveal national secrets; damage the country's values and security; adversely affect children's health and development; have discrimination content; compare brands.

It bans advertisements from using words like "most," "the best," "the only," or "number one" to describe a product or service unless there's legal documents to back the claims.

Vietnam's National Assembly, now elected every four years, usually holds two parliamentary sessions every year.

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