Newly-issued Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Circular 25 has ordered firms and artists to limit smoking scenes in films and plays.
The new circular bans actors from smoking on screen in films for general audience unless the purpose is criticism. Smoking scenes are banned in works for children or to praise individuals and organisations that become successful from cigarettes.
Cigarettes can still be used for artistic purposes or to be historically accurate, however, actors must not smoke for real. If there are many smoking scenes in a film, it must be rated or gives audiences warnings about smoking.
Vietnamese spend approximately VND31trn (USD1.24m) on tobacco and VND24trn go into treatments for just five out of 25 tobacco-related illnesses every year.
The circular will take effect from November 25.