4 October 2019
People found smoking at 30 Hanoi landmarks will be fined on the spot starting this month, a city official said.
The landmarks include the Ngoc Son Temple and the Ba Kieu Temple in and around the iconic Sword Lake, the Vietnam National Museum of History, the Hanoi Opera House and the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Pham Thi Thanh Nhan, head of the Hoan Kiem District health center, said at an anti-smoking conference held in the capital city Tuesday.
Signs will be be erected in these places warning people not to smoke or face immediate fines.
The move is part of an anti-smoking campaign targeting tourist sites in Hanoi. A total of 190 landmarks in Hoan Kiem, including the initial 30, would eventually ban smoking altogether.
People found violating can be fined up to VND300,000 ($13) on the spot, Nhan said.
The central district of Hoan Kiem is a major center for tourism, services and commerce in the capital. The district welcomed over 2.1 million foreign tourists last year.
Vietnam has one of the highest numbers of smokers in the world, with as many as 15.6 million people spending VND31 trillion ($1.36 billion) on cigarettes every year. It is also among the top 15 countries in the world with the lowest tobacco prices, according to the World Health Organization.