Government launches Tobacco Control Convention Strategy

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health has launched the Tobacco Products Control Convention Strategy-2030 with the objective of reducing the tobacco consumption in the long term.

It is believed that the strategy will provide guidelines to the policy makers, service providers, the related government ministries and bodies, and the national and international non-governmental organisations in the development and implementation of tobacco control programmes. The National Health Education, Information and Communications Centre under the Ministry of Health prepared the Strategy. Minister for Health Deepak Bohara launched the Strategy amidst a programme organised by the Centre here today.

Addressing the programme, Minister Bohara expressed confidence that the Strategy would be a milestone in controlling tobacco products which are the main cause of many non-communicable diseases. He pointed out the need of inter-ministry coordination for the implementation of the Strategy at local, provincial and federal levels, calling for ban on the production of the tobacco products.

Nepal signed on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on December 3, 2003 and ratified it on November 7, 2006. The Ministry has already prepared the Act and Regulations necessary for the execution of the Convention.

According to the Ministry of Health, 15,000 people die each year in Nepal due to the consumption of tobacco products. Consumption of tobacco products causes cancer, long-term respiratory diseases, heart diseases and diabetes, among others.

Health Secretary Dr Pushpa Chaudhari stressed the need of reducing tobacco consumption to prevent and minimize the incidences of non-communicable diseases. She directed all the bodies concerned to effectively implement the Strategy.

Director General at the Department of Health Services, Dr Rajendra Panta and Centre Director Badri Bahadur Khadka said that controlling the tobacco products would help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Strategy incorporates various measures for tobacco control like monitoring tobacco consumption, declaring more and more smoke-free public areas, and motivating the people to give up tobacco.