Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Smoke-Free Universities: Changes Since Enactment of Vietnamese Tobacco Control Legislation


Hanoi School of Public Health, Hanoi, Viet Nam


Background: In 2013, legislation in Vietnam regulated smoking in public areas. Included was a ban on indoor smoking at universities. Objective: Since awareness and attitude are moderators of the effectiveness of smoke-free policy, ou aim was to assess changes in students’ knowledge and attitude tosecond hand smoke (SHS) and awareness and support of smoke-free legislation at four Vietnamese universities, one year after legislative changes. Methods: A two-phase cross sectional study of undergraduate students using self-administered questionnaires (based on the Global Adult Tobacco Survey and the Thrasher survey) was conducted at the introduction of the legislation and one year thereafter. Results: One-year post legislation there were significant increases in knowledge of smoke-free legislation and awareness of universities as smoke-free environments. There was a significant increase in knowledge of harmful effects of SHS on diseases such as examples in the heart and lung, including lung cancer, and miscarriage. Students expressed strong support of smoke-free environments in universities, hospitals, schools, workplaces, public transport, libraries, cinemas and theatres; support was also increased post legislation. Changes were seen in attitude to SHS, and rights of non-smokers and smokers. Conclusions: Positive changes have occurred in knowledge and attitude toward smoke-free environments and SHS in universities since enactment of Vietnamese tobacco control legislation.