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Civil society organisations in Bangladesh are escalating their mission to prevent tobacco industry interference in public health policy. Despite making good progress in other areas of tobacco control, legal measures are not yet in place to stop tobacco lobbyists from influencing policymakers. Proponents of these preventative measures are making their case through research, advocacy and education nationwide.

The Philippines’ Secretary of Health has announced a significant decline in smoking prevalence as new data this week revealed adult tobacco use had reduced by almost 20 percent between 2009 and 2015. The steep decline – from 29.7 percent in 2009 to 23.8 percent in 2015 – was attributed to the high impact tobacco control policies established and rigorously implemented in the country over the last decade.

The Union joined international calls for the U.S. Ambassador in Viet Nam to reconsider the Embassy’s facilitation of meetings between senior members of Viet Nam’s government and Philip Morris International [PMI] as part of a delegation of U.S. companies organised by the US-ASEAN Business Council.

Partners in the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use met in New York to kick off the new phase of this global public health initiative, and to strategise next steps for reducing tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries with the largest populations of smokers. Increasing tobacco tax and protecting policymaking from tobacco industry interference were set as top priorities for the next six years of the Bloomberg Initiative [BI].

As people around the globe unite to mark World Cancer Day on 4 February, it is a timely moment to refresh our collective commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. Just over a year ago members of the United Nations committed, for the first time, to reducing non-communicable diseases [NCDs] – cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

At last year’s global forum for progressing tobacco control, Daouda Adam was nominated by his peers to represent the interests and concerns of the Africa region. Preventing tobacco industry interference was the key issue he presented, on behalf of the 30 African nations that attended the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties [COP 7] for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [WHO FCTC].

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