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Mayors and regents representing 48 jurisdictions across Indonesia agreed to significant tobacco control reforms in their cities, including policies for 100 percent smoke-free public places, bans on tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship and moves to integrate tobacco control into other local health programmes.

The World Health Organization’s Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic published today suggests that if low- and middle-income countries tripled excise taxes on tobacco, rates of use would drop by about 40 percent. It proposes that this is ‘the most plausible way’ to cut tobacco use in order to reduce non-communicable disease (NCD) deaths by 30 percent by 2030. In other words, tobacco taxes offer a direct route to achieving the United Nations’ ambitious Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 3.4.

The Union welcomes the Court of Arbitration's decision to force Philip Morris Asia to pay the Australian Government's legal costs, estimated at AUS$50 million, for its failed case against the country's pioneering plain packaging laws.

Jorge Laucirica is The Union’s technical advisor for tobacco control in Latin America. Based in the Mexico office, his beat spans diverse countries across the region – at present, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

A high-level conference held in Dhaka framed the urgent need to reduce tobacco use with stark statistics: 59 percent of premature deaths in Bangladesh are caused by non-communicable diseases. 40 percent of these deaths are due to tobacco use. Its call to action was clear: to reduce non-communicable disease by one third by 2030 and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3, strong tobacco control policies must be a priority, now.

Policymakers, civil society and media from across the South East Asia region attended a multi-day course in Kathmandu, Nepal, designed to equip leaders for tobacco control. The Union Singapore office organised the course in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, USA; Nepal’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and Action Nepal. The South Asia Tobacco Control Leadership Programme ran from 8 to 13 May.

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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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