Tobacco Access and Availability for Vietnamese School Children (aged 13-15): Results from the Global Youth Tobacco Use Survey (GYTS) 2014 in Viet Nam


Hanoi School of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam


Efforts to reduce tobacco use among school children need to be based on understanding of access to cigarettes
by these subjects because previous studies indicated that enforcement of laws for controlling tobacco sales seems
to not affect teen/school children because they can obtain cigarettes from different sources. This paper aims to
describe access to and availability of cigarettes among school students (aged 13-15 years old) according to the
data from GYTS Vietnam 2014. In GYTS, a national school-based survey of students of grades 8-10, our findings
showed that about 15% school children are current smokers who smoke at home, and that they could easily buy
cigarettes from stores (63.2%), or someone else (27.8%), or street vendors (9%). Notably, over 85% of school
children answered that they were not refused because of their age. This high percentage was nearly the same in
the North (85.7%), the Centre (92.5%), and the South (89.7%) of Viet Nam. These findings show that it is quite
easy for school children to obtain cigarettes and this is a crucial challenge for policy makers aiming to reduce
tobacco use among youth in general and school-age students in particular.