Assessing Health, Economic, and Social Equity Impacts of Graphic Health Warnings on Tobacco Products in Vietnam

Tobacco use is a leading cause of death in Vietnam. In June 2012, the country's National Assembly enacted a comprehensive Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms, which then entered into force May 1, 2013. The provisions include a requirement for graphic health warnings (GHWs) to take up at least 50% of the front and back of tobacco product packaging starting in November 2013. The law also prohibits misleading terms suggesting that one tobacco product is less harmful than another. While the law marks a significant step to Vietnam meeting its obligations to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the GHW designs have yet to be determined. In fact, they are the subject of negotiations between the Ministries of Health and Trade. Influential tobacco industry opposition to strong, effective labelling is likely to be a factor in the final decision. This research aims to fill the gap in scientific evidence that sheds light on the possible impacts of GHW label interventions on health, the economy, and social equity. Project results are expected to help Vietnam's public health advocates and policymakers maximize the impact of these warnings on public health. The research objectives are to: -quantify the importance of cigarette warning label attributes among diverse populations in Vietnam; -estimate the extent to which GHW cigarette packaging labels reduce cigarette demand in Vietnam; and, -predict the impact labelling will have on reducing smoking-related morbidity and mortality, the economy, and social equity in Vietnam. The research team will collect primary data from a representative sample of households in Vietnam's north, south, and central regions. They will use a discrete choice experiment method to estimate the relative influence of different warning label designs on the behaviour of the study populations. The researchers will analyze the data from this study, along with other secondary data (including the Global Adult Tobacco Survey), to estimate the GHW label impacts on health, the economy, and social equity. A research group from Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam will conduct the research. A consultant from the Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) in the United States will provide technical support.

Project ID


Project status



18 months

IDRC Officer

Greg Hallen

Total funding

CA$ 133,600


Viet Nam


Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Hoang Van Minh


Hanoi Medical University

Institution Country

Viet Nam

Institution Website