Lao PDR is establishing a tobacco control (TC) fund as stipulated in the tobacco control law passed in November 2009. A Prime Ministerial Decree for the TC fund was adopted by the government in January 2013 and became effective in May 2013. The fund is placed under the Ministry of Health and operates as a semi-autonomous entity.
It is governed by the Tobacco Control Fund Council which reports to the National Committee on Tobacco Control, which is chaired by the Minister of Health and supported by two vice-chairs from the Vice Ministers of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The other members are the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education and Sport; Media Department (Ministry of Culture Information and Tourism); Police Environment Department (Ministry of Security); and Hygiene and Health Promotion Department (Ministry of Health). The Prime Minister appoints Council members. The Council is supported by a secretariat team comprising a manager, vice manager, and technical staff to carry out the management and implementation of the Fund. They are from the Tobacco Control Fund Office (TCFO) located in the Finance Department, Ministry of Health.
The funding sources of the tobacco control fund are obtained from two mains sources: 1) two percent (2%) additional profit tax from tobacco business operators, and 2) 200 kip per cigarette package of locally produced tobacco and/or imported the manufactured tobacco.
The fund is equally distributed across the different objectives. About 37% of the total budget is allocated for tobacco control and health promotion activities including health education; production of tobacco control Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials; cessation programmes for smokers who want to quit smoking and those who have been affected by tobacco smoke; the expansion of smoke-free areas; support for research on the health, economic and social impacts of tobacco smoking; smuggling control activities, and an awards programme that recognizes individuals and organizations who have achieved and contributed to the implementation of tobacco control.
A further 25% is used for improving and strengthening health care service quality such as building, renovation, and medical supplies and equipment for public hospitals, particularly for the diagnosis and treatment of tobacco-related diseases. Another 32% is for a National Health Insurance scheme for the public. The remaining six percent (6%) is for supporting the cost of administration and performance for the National Committee on Tobacco Control.
3 Pholsena S. Establishing Governance and mechanism of Tobacco Control Fund in Lao PDR. Presented at ProLEAD E: Establishing Health Promotion Foundations, ProLEAD Module II for Lao PDR and Viet Nam, Vientiane, Lao PDR, 3-4 April 2013.
World Health Organization. (2004). The establishment and use of dedicated taxes for health. World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific.
Vathesatogkit P, Yen Lian T, Ritthipakdee B. (2013). Health Promotion: Sustainable Financing and Governance. Bangkok, Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).
World Health Organization. (2016). Earmarked tobacco taxes: lessons learnt from nine countries. Geneva, World Health Organization.
- A global overview of health promotion funds and the agencies that govern and manage them.
- Summary of fund management and expenditure of dedicated taxes.
- How is governance for these funds structured?
- Model 1: Autonomous agency
- Model 2: Semi-autonomous agency
- Model 3: Unit within the government structure