Union Health Minister calls for cooperation to shield youth from tobacco industry deception

The internet and social media are extensively utilized worldwide, and seizing this opportunity, manufacturers and sellers of tobacco and tobacco products employ various methods to promote their products, Union Minister for Health Dr Thet Khaing Win cautioned at the ‘2024 World No Tobacco Day’ held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday with the theme ‘Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference’.
In particular, certain tobacco companies are targeting young people in developing countries. Additionally, some research organizations are paid substantial sums to disseminate false information to young people, claiming that tobacco products manufactured by certain companies pose no harm. Furthermore, electronic vapourizers such as E-cigarettes, Vape, and heated tobacco products, among others, are also of concern.
According to Article 5.3 of ‘The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’, member states must prevent tobacco and tobacco product manufacturers from interfering in various ways to delay the implementation of public health policies.
Myanmar signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003 and enacted the Control of Smoking and Consumption of Tobacco Product Law in 2006, based on the provisions of the Convention. The law prohibits the sale of tobacco to individuals under the age of 18 and within school premises or 100 feet of school premises. Advertising, promotion, and support of tobacco products are strictly prohibited by law, with penalties and punishments. The law also aims to promote health awareness about the dangers of using tobacco and tobacco products, including electronic vaporizers, and to protect young people from deception by tobacco and tobacco product manufacturers and sellers. The Union minister also urged everyone to cooperate in the efforts to protect young people against the deception of tobacco businesses.
Also present at the ceremony were the Deputy Minister for Health, members and representatives of the Central Committee on Tobacco and Tobacco Products, directors-general of departments under the ministry, departmental officials, chairs and representatives of the Myanmar Women’s Federation, the Myanmar Red Cross Society, the Myanmar Medical Council and the Public Health Foundation, medical superintendents and primary health workers from hospitals in Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory. — MNA/TKO

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