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Establishing a tobacco control fund in Vietnam: some learnings for other countries

Abstract

In response to the need for stable and adequate funding for tobacco control and the shortage of personnel working in the field, the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund (VNTCF) was established through the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms in 2012. In September 2014, VNTCF awarded its first set of grants. Built on the local evidence-based context and needs as well as lessons learnt from other countries, VNTCF adapted best practices with adjustments that fit the country’s political, economic and social environment. The key strengths of the VNTCF are the evidence-based model; multisectoral management; clearly dedicated funding mechanism, defined vision, objectives and function; outcomes based mechanism and a multisectoral approach to releasing grants. Although several challenges remain such as insufficient human resources to undertake the workload, complex and cumbersome administrative processes, and limited capacity for tobacco control in the country, VNTCF has achieved several successes. The establishment of VNTCF in Vietnam is a critical milestone within the country’s fight against the tobacco epidemic. It showed not only the commitment of the local authorities to the fight but also their determination to ensure sustainable funding for tobacco control activities in Vietnam. Analysing VNTCF’s critical success elements, key strengths and challenges is helpful for other countries which want to establish or modify a tobacco control fund.

  • tobacco control
  • health promotion fund
  • sustainable funding
  • sin tax
  • tobacco tax
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