Nepal | July 09, 2020

South Asian tobacco control leadership meet concludes

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Ministry of HealthKathmandu, May 13

A week-long South Asia Tobacco Control Leadership Programme concluded here today, underscoring an urgent need to develop appropriate tobacco intervention strategies to make this region smoke-free.

The conference jointly organised by the Ministry of Health, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Action Nepal brought together 74 delegates from SAARC countries. During the conference, chief guest and Minister for Health Gagan Kumar Thapa announced that Nepal would adopt plain packaging on tobacco products by 2018. Plain packaging is regarded as a comprehensive approach to tobacco control use.

Minister Thapa also shed light on the government’s plan to declare the country tobacco-free by 2030. Minister for Agricultural Development Gauri Shankar Chaudhary informed that the government was making necessary preparations to provide to tobacco farmers cash incentive and agricultural inputs to encourage them to switch to cultivation of cash crops, fruits and vegetables as part of its tobacco control initiative.

Krishna Prasad Devkota, secretary at the Ministry of Land Reform and Management, said the government was committed to utilising the agricultural land for the promotion of food crops while discouraging tobacco farming. He warned that tobacco cultivation and production cause environmental pollution, socioeconomic change and health impact.

The union’s deputy director for Asia Pacific Tara Singh Bam said pictorial tobacco pack warnings and plain packaging were highly effective in discouraging tobacco consumption.  It is a measure to restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style.

A government report showed current smoking prevalence among male and female is 51.9 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. More than 25,000 people die of tobacco related diseases every year.

Ananda Bahadur Chand, chairperson of Action Nepal, highlighted why Nepal should adopt tobacco-free laws to save millions of lives as it was the leading cause of preventable illness, death, and impoverishment. The leadership programme focused on building capacity to develop effective tobacco control policy and interventions, and a myriad of tobacco topics, including policy development, advocacy, communications, implementation and evaluation, and management and leadership.

The programme was structured around components of the WHO’s MPOWER package of tobacco control interventions. The faculty comprised regional and international experts in areas such as tobacco control policy, economics, communications, advocacy, and research and evaluation, said Steve Tamplin, associate Scientist at Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

It is the first time that the annual tobacco control leadership programme was held in Nepal, thanks to its ‘praiseworthy initiatives in making and implementing tobacco control laws’, said Chand.


A version of this article appears in print on May 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Making sure our four-legged friends are fed

KATHMANDU The lockdown came into effect in Nepal on March 24 to curb the spread of coronavirus confining people to their homes while schools, offices and businesses shut down. Nobody knew how the situation would unfold and for how long the lockdown would continue. At that moment Founder of Dis Read More...

China, coronavirus

Serious brain disorders in patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms, warn UK neurologists

KATHMANDU: UK neurologists have warned that serious and potentially deadly brain disorder might be triggered among patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms or recovering patients. Publishing the paper in the journal Brain on Wednesday, neurologists said that there was a rise in a life-threatening con Read More...

Rain-triggered flood cuts road section, inundates half-dozen houses in Saptari

RAJBIRAJ: Half a dozen houses have been inundated as rain-triggered flood gushed into a human settlement in Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality-3 of Saptari district. The flood has also destroyed paddy planted in approximately 100 bigaha of fields, it has been reported. Two thatched-roof ho Read More...

Trump administration informs United Nations of US withdrawal from WHO

KATHMANDU: Trump administration that has been critical of the World Health Organisation (WHO) over its handling of coronavirus pandemic has formally withdrawn the United States from the UN health body, on Tuesday. The United Nations confirmed that the US would leave WHO on July 6, 2021, following Read More...

China, US trade tit-for-tat visa curbs over Tibet

BEIJING/WASHINGTON:  China said on Wednesday it will impose visa restrictions on US citizens who have engaged in what it called "egregious" behaviour over Tibet, in apparent retaliation against US restrictions on Chinese officials. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the United Sta Read More...

Serbian police say 23 held, 60 hurt in clashes

BELGRADE: Serbian police say 23 people have been detained and scores of police officers and demonstrators injured in clashes that erupted over announced return of lockdown measures against the new coronavirus. Police director Vladimir Rebic told the state RTS television that police are working to Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 11.89 million, death toll over 543,500

At least 11,891,395 people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 543,539 have died, a Reuters tally showed. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The Worl Read More...

West Indies must try to win inside four days: Lara

LONDON: Batting great Brian Lara has said West Indies' best chance of victory against England is to race out to an early lead and secure the win inside five days. All-rounder Jason Holder is part of the tourists' impressive bowling attack but questions remain about their batting ahead of the Read More...