Vietnam Health Communications Campaigns
In June 2012, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed the country’s first comprehensive tobacco control legislation. The lead-up to this landmark public health achievement in Vietnam involved a large-scale, coordinated approach from the government and local and international NGOs. As part of these efforts, World Lung Foundation has worked with the Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH), providing technical and financial support to develop and implement several phases of national mass media campaigns to educate about the harms associated with tobacco smoking and SHS exposure, in an effort to build support for passage and to enforce of the comprehensive tobacco control law.
CAMPAIGN PHASE 1: December 2009-January
CAMPAIGN PHASE 2: November-December 2011
CAMPAIGN PHASE 3: May-June 2012
CAMPAIGN PHASE 4: May-June 2013
CAMPAIGN PHASE 5: February-May 2014
CAMPAIGN PHASE 6: November 2014
Each of these campaigns aired adapted versions of the Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive and Cigarettes Are Eating Your Baby Alive television commercials, airing on national channels.
CAMPAIGN PHASE 2: In the lead-up to the phase 2 and phase 3 campaigns, mass media capacity building workshops were conducted with representatives from the 63 provincial Health Information and Education Centers (HIECs) across Vietnam. Beginning from Phase 2, all subsequent media campaign activities were extended by provincial HIECs, working through provincial media channels. In Phase 2, the television ads were additionally placed on 3,600 LCD screens over seven weeks in hospitals, office buildings, supermarkets, public traffic stations and city buses.
CAMPAIGN PHASE 3: The third campaign phase was staged in May-June 2012, leading up to the National Assembly vote on the tobacco control law and entailed national television advertising supported by a new media campaign comprising SMS, a micro-site and campaign petition to support the passage of the tobacco control law, Facebook advertising, broadcast email, and public relations activities. With the support of The Youth Union of Vietnam, the campaign primarily targeted Vietnamese youth to build support for the passage of national tobacco control law and focused on driving electronic signatures for a mobile and online “petition” at www.vn0khoithuoc.com in support of the legislation.
CAMPAIGN PHASE 4: Following the successful passage of comprehensive tobacco control legislation in 2012, Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive and Cigarettes Are Eating Your Baby Alive ran nationally in 2013 to support the new law’s implementation, after coming into effect on May 1st. Two waves of Facebook ads, mass SMS texts, and emails to public health and university student networks were undertaken. Nearly 3,000 people registered their support for implementation of the new SF laws by ‘signing’ an online ‘register of support’ at the www.vn0khoithouc.com (smoke-free Vietnam) website, or texting ‘KKT’ (smoke-free). A campaign Facebook page was established, with the support of local TC partner CDS and achieved a community of more than 500 ‘likes’.
Hundreds of Vietnamese youth also participated in local rallies in Hanoi on May 7th and in Ho Chi Minh City on May 14th, where they distributed information materials regarding the laws’ details to nearby hotels and restaurants afterwards. These efforts were conducted in conjunction with the Vietnam Youth Union, VINACOSH, and Campaign Tobacco Free Kids. To support the national mass media advertising, DVDs containing campaign television ads and other communication materials were provided to each of the 63 provincial HIECs.
CAMPAIGN PHASE 5: In 2014 Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive and Cigarettes Are Eating Your Baby Alive were further adapted to display new graphic pack warnings, which had been implemented by law beginning December 2013. The mass media campaign also promoted enforcement of national smoke-free legislation and was supported by a social media smoke-free competition, sponsored by the Youth Union and Ministry of Health. The ads aired across the country on national and provincial TV stations.
CAMPAIGN PHASE 6: WLF developed a new TV spot encouraging support for a strong tobacco tax measure by members of the Vietnam National Assembly in session over October and November of 2014. Using adapted footage from Alive GPW, the ad aired for four weeks on national TV stations VTV1 and VTV3. It highlights the health harms of smoking and the importance of significantly raising tobacco taxes in order to protect Vietnamese youth from starting to smoke. A complementary PR effort placed feature articles and briefs in key policymaker publications and news reports, using the same messaging around the importance of significantly raising taxes for public health and youth. Additional supporting social media activities were designed to inform the public about the National Assembly’s consideration of tobacco tax measures and engage an online TC advocacy community grown out of previous campaign activities. Formerly developed online resources—namely, a microsite www.vn0khoithouc.com and a Facebook page—were reactivated and used to disseminate information about tobacco taxes to the public.