Last August 17 to 21, 2014, thirteen members of the Vietnam National Assembly (NA) went on a four-day study visit to Malaysia and Singapore. The main objectives of the visit was to learn experience of tobacco taxation and controlling tobacco illicit trade of some selected countries in the ASEAN region (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Thailand), and improve the understanding of the NA deputies on the benefits of tobacco taxation and price measures in reducing tobacco consumption for health.
Currently, Vietnam is revising its excise tax law, which includes tobacco products. The proposal is now at the Government Office for further assessment and was passed on to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly (NA) last July. The Committee of Finance and State Budget (CFB) is the main government division of the NA assigned to assess the draft of excise tax law. In this regard, a thorough understanding of CFB deputies of the benefits of tobacco tax and price measures in reducing tobacco consumption for health is very important at this stage, to gain their support for an effective tobacco tax policy. Aside from advocacy activities in the country, the visit of the NA members to countries with good experience and practices on tobacco taxation and smuggling control will be beneficial. (for more information, contact: Tan Yen Lian, SEATCA Knowledge and Information Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org)