The Ministry of Health and Sports and WHO jointly organized the Workshop on Developing Road Map for Standard Packaging Legislation at Grand Amara Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
In his speech, Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe said the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco seriously affects health and causes damages in other sectors across Myanmar and the world. He said this workshop aims to address this issue by reducing the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco.
The Union Minister said statistics show an average of 64,000 Myanmar citizens die as a consequence of cigarettes and tobacco consumption every year. He said the WHO STEPS survey conducted in Myanmar in 2014 reveal that 94 per cent have one same reason to develop noncommunicable diseases while 19.6 per cent have 3-5 reasons for the same thing.
The Union Minister said that if usage of cigarettes and tobacco are not effectively controlled within the next five years then it will become exceedingly harder to control by then. He said it has the potential to become a public health crisis and will cause grave losses in the nation’s health, economic and other sectors.
The Union Minister said the standard packaging practices to be discussed in the workshop are implemented worldwide and is essential to controlling tobacco. He said suggestions from the Union Attorney-General Office will be taken into consideration when implementing standard packaging. He said the results of this workshop will be submitted to the Union Government.
This was followed by an explanation from Mr Andrew Black, Technical Officer of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, on how consumption of tobacco in Myanmar has negatively affected 3.3% of national GDP, how standard packaging can effectively change first time usage habits among youths and what makes up standard packaging.
The workshop then began with participants from the Ministry of Health and Sports, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry, Ministry of Information, Union Attorney-General Office, WHO FCTC and Public Health Foundation officials, and retired experts.
FROM : GLOBAL NEW LIGHT