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More than 21 percent of adults consume tobacco in HP: Kaul Singh

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One person dies every six seconds due to tobacco: World Health Organization
One person dies every six seconds due to tobacco: World Health Organization
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Shimla: More than 21 percent of the adults in Himachal Pradesh use some form of tobacco. These include over 880,000 smokers, far higher than tobacco chewers, said state Health Minister Kaul Singh.

The state has stepped up efforts to sustain the smoke-free status. Recently, it has banned the sale of single cigarettes and ‘bidi’, the minister said at a conference organized on tobacco control by Bloomberg in New York on Tuesday.

The hill state has a population of about 6.8 million.

Kaul Singh said the process of drafting a comprehensive legislation that conforms to the recommendation and the provisions of Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is under way.

Singh said the state was declared smoke-free in July 2013 and now efforts are being made to make it the first fully-compliant state to all provisions of tobacco control laws.

Quoting the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009-10), the minister said the state has the highest age of initiation (nearly 21 years).

He said the government is making all-out efforts to implement the National Tobacco Control Program launched by the central government.

“Our focus now is to protect the non-smokers from the harms of tobacco smoke,” he added.

(IANS)

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WHO Vows For Broader Action Against Tobacco

To prevent further interference by tobacco industry in public health policies, the strategy requires parties to the treaty to protect national public health policies "from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry."

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WHO vows tighter, broader action against tobacco, industry interference.

The World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled a global strategy on Saturday to scale up the tobacco control agenda over the next few years and to prevent further interference by tobacco industry in public health policies.

The strategy, titled the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), aims to strengthen implementation of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), with a roadmap to guide the work of the convention parties, the secretariat and other stakeholders with regards to tobacco control from 2019 to 2025, Xinhua reported.

“The adoption of this strategy marks a key milestone in strengthening the FCTC,” said Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat. “This strategy provides a very clear path forward, with priorities and objectives to reinforce government policies and accelerate global action for more effective implementation of the tobacco control treaty.”

The strategy was concluded during the eighth session (COP8) of the FCTC, which brought together over 1,200 participants, including delegations from 148 parties to the global tobacco control treaty and representatives of UN agencies, other intergovernmental organisations and civil society.

They also agreed to maximize transparency to protect FCTC related sessions and proceedings from the intrusion of tobacco industry representatives and interests.

WHO
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, VOA

“More than ever, we need to stay the course and strengthen our commitment to ensure that FCTC efforts to protect and promote public health and sustainable development are not hijacked by the tobacco industry,” Costa e Silva said. “We must yield no ground to the tobacco industry.”

To prevent further interference by tobacco industry in public health policies, the strategy requires parties to the treaty to protect national public health policies “from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.”

In addition to tighter control actions, the parties also addressed the need for tobacco control efforts to integrate strategies to combat the destructive impacts of tobacco on the environment and sustainable development.

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Since it came into force in 2005, the FCTC has resulted in national strategies and legislation that have introduced health warning on packages of tobacco and comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

As the only existing global intergovernmental meeting exclusively devoted to tobacco control, the FCTC COP has served as a platform for policy formulation and the adoption of implementation mechanisms by the parties to the convention. (IANS)