More than 90 percent of tobacco stores around Vietnam are violating regulations on display of tobacco products, a survey by the University of Public Health in Hanoi has found.
The survey studied 1,500 shops in 10 cities and provinces from 2009 to 2011, online newspaper VnExpress reported, and discovered that 90 percent of them displayed more than one pack or carton of each brand of tobacco, the maximum allowed by the law.
It says the rate did not decrease even when penalties for violations was increased by 50-100 percent.
Le Thi Thanh Huong, a coordinator of the university project titled "For a Vietnam without Tobacco Ads, Promotion and Sponsorship," said a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion in Vietnam is in place.
Advertising on TV, radio, newspapers, posters, billboards, and others has disappeared in recent years, but tobacco products are still being displayed at many shops, often along with confectionary products, making them more appealing, she said.
According to the survey, the display persuades young people to buy tobacco and smoke since they think it is not a harmful product and is accepted by society.
"Vietnam should move towards totally banning displays of tobacco," Huong said.
She expressed concern that a bill on the prevention of harm caused by tobacco, which will be considered by the National Assembly this month, allows stores to display one pack or carton of each tobacco brand.
"We should limit the display of tobacco products. Some countries like Thailand, Australia, and the UK have banned [it]."