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Talented Youth Receive Awards for Winning Smoke-Free Viet Nam Social Media Competition

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(Hanoi, Vietnam and New York, USA) ––Today, at an event to mark World No Tobacco Day, the Ministry of Health of Vietnam (MoH), the Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH), and the Central Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union announced the winners of a national “For a smoke-free life” competition on social media. The competition was launched with support from World Lung Foundation (WLF) to find the best graphics, photos and videos that illustrate the benefits of a smoke-free Vietnam, demonstrate ways of supporting compliance with Vietnam’s new smoke-free regulations, and exhibit public support for this smoke-free law.

Entries were judged by representatives from MoH, the Youth Union, WLF, and the advertising industry, and the competition winners were picked based on the total points given to the shortlisted entries by all eight members of the judging panel. The popular vote award was decided by the entry gaining the greatest number of public “likes” on Facebook. A significant body of scientific evidence shows hard-hitting communication campaigns can compel tobacco users to quit, increase knowledge of the health risks of tobacco use and second-hand smoke, and promote behavior change – including compliance with smoke-free laws – in both smokers and non-smokers.

Sandra Mullin, Senior Vice President, Policy & Communications, World Lung Foundation, commented: “We are delighted to have supported this inspiring competition, and we applaud the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Youth Union to strongly enforce a smoke-free Vietnam. The entries demonstrated thoughtful, creative approaches to the subject of smoke-free laws and the dangers of second-hand smoke. Many used exactly the type of hard-hitting images and words that are proven to be effective. We thank all the entrants for their participation and congratulate all the prize winners.”

The winners announced today were:


1st prize: Hoang Thi Xuan Lai (Ho Chi Minh City)
This video effectively captures the emotion associated with a young woman’s loss of her father through smoking-related illness, and the pain associated with the ongoing loss of his presence in her life as she grows up. This led her to take personal action to support enforcement of the smoke-free law, and she calls on youth to join her.

2nd prize: Communication Division – Public Health Club – Hanoi Medical University (Hanoi)
This video calls on individuals and organizations to support the smoke-free law, and shows how they can do so in a range of settings.

3rd prize: Pham Hoang Minh (Hanoi)
This video features a catchy rap soundtrack over images of tobacco-related harms and positive images promoting smoke-free environments.


1st prize: Nguyen Xuan Dai (Hanoi)
The photo accurately represents how smoke-free laws can become self-enforcing when norms change. It shows a person pointing out a no-smoking sign to a smoker on public transportation. The photo features clever use of color to highlight the key message.

2nd prize: Nguyen Quynh Nga & Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich (Lao Cai)
This photo sends a powerful message that a parent’s smoking or an act of violation of the smoke-free law can have negative effects on children.

3rd prize: Police Station for the Prevention of Environmental Crimes – Can Tho Police Department (Can Tho)
This photo depicts a cigarette pack with the new graphic health warning: “Smoking leads to a slow and painful death,” and cigarette butts scattered on the ground in front of it, to underscore the harms of smoking.


1st prize: Nguyen Anh Ngoc (Vinh Phuc)
This poster uses a friendly image of smiling children to communicate the importance of supporting smoke-free laws. The poster appeals to a wide range of people and can be applied to other public communication materials.

2nd prize: Nguyen Duc Tri (Hue)
This poster contrasts the harm caused by smoking with positive images of children enjoying a smoke-free environment to live and play in.

3rd prize: Nguyen Anh Minh (Vinh Phuc)
This poster uses a simple, effective design to tell people they should support enforcement of the smoke-free law in hospitals and health settings.

Popular choice (highest number of likes on Facebook)

Winner: Nguyen Manh Tuyen (Hanoi)
This video depicts a dramatic scene, where a young man is smoking in a prohibited area in front of a hospital. He is told to stop smoking and runs away. The man is chased by a policeman, stopped and fined for breaching the smoke-free law. The video clearly demonstrates that smokers face penalties for breaking the smoke-free law, and an energetic sound track adds to the drama of the video.

Research has shown that mass media campaigns are one of the most effective means to encourage people to stop smoking. It is one of the World Health Organization’s M-P-O-W-E-R (W=Warn) strategies to reduce tobacco consumption. MPOWER strategies are endorsed and promoted by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, of which World Lung Foundation is a principal partner.