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Secondhand smoke in public places in Vietnam: An assessment 5 years after implementation of the tobacco control law
  1. Long K Tran1,
  2. Lidia Morawska1,
  3. Coral E Gartner2,3,
  4. Le T T Huong4,
  5. Hong H T C Le5,
  6. Phong K Thai1,6
  1. 1International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Science & Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences, University of Queensland Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4Environmental and Occupational Health, Hanoi University of Public Health, Hanoi, Viet Nam
  5. 5Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
  6. 6Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences, The University of Queensland, Saint Lucia, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Phong K Thai, Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science, The University of Queensland, Saint Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia; p.thai{at}


Objectives This study quantified the secondhand smoke (SHS) concentration in a sample of public places in Vietnam to determine changes in SHS levels 5 years after a public smoking ban was implemented.

Methods Two monitoring campaigns, one in 2013 (before the tobacco control law was implemented) and another in 2018 (5 years after the implementation of the law) were conducted in around 30 restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops in major cities of Vietnam. Concentrations of PM2.5, as an indicator of SHS, were measured by portable particulate matter monitors (TSI SidePak AM510 and Air Visual Pro).

Results The geometric mean PM2.5 concentration of all monitored venues was 87.7 µg/m3 (83.7–91.9) in the first campaign and 55.2 µg/m3 (53.7–56.7) in the second campaign. Pairwise comparison showed the PM2.5 concentrations in the smoking observed area was triple and double those in the non-smoking area and the outdoor environment. After adjusting for sampling locations and times, the SHS concentration 5 years after the implementation of the tobacco control law reduced roughly 45%.

Conclusion The study results indicate an improvement in air quality in public places in Vietnam via both the reduction in PM2.5 levels and the number of people observed smoking. However, greater enforcement of the free-smoke legislation is needed to eliminate SHS in public places in Vietnam.

  • low/middle income country
  • public policy
  • secondhand smoke
  • advocacy

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  • Contributors LKT, LTTH and PKT designed the study; LKT and HHTCL collected the data, LKT, LTTH analysed/interpreted data; LKT, PKT, HHTCL and LM drafted the manuscript; PKT, CEG and LM provided critical review of intellectual content. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol was reviewed and approved by the Review Board of Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH) with decision No 259/2018/YTCC-HD3.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. Data and additional information available may be requested from the author through the email: or

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