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The Union welcomes Singapore’s new ban on displays of tobacco products at point-of-sale which comes into force on 1 August. Singapore, home to The Union Asia Pacific Office, has a good track record on tobacco control in the region.

Policies to reduce tobacco use are being strengthened in Singapore in a bid to help people quit and prevent young people from taking up smoking. The ministry of health has announced plans to increase the minimum legal age for smoking from 18 to 21, and to further restrict smoking across the main shopping district, reducing the number of designated smoking areas to five.

‘Singapore was the first Asian country to ban tobacco advertising, back in 1971. And it was the first in the region to introduce graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging in 2003,’ said Tara Singh Bam, Deputy Director for The Union's Asia Pacific Office. ‘As a regional leader in tobacco control, Singapore is becoming a much-needed hub for countries to share experiences and success stories in their vital work to reduce tobacco use. Asia Pacific is home to some of the largest populations of tobacco users in the world – it is imperative that we make swift progress on tobacco control to prevent the physical and economic devastation smoking causes.’

In July this year, The Union Asia Pacific Office hosted a Tobacco Control Cross-Learning Programme, attended by 16 high ranking officials from the government of Nepal. The delegation met with counterparts from Singapore and learnt about their work to reduce tobacco use through field assessments and workshops. Singapore is to host another event later in 2017, for mayors and sub-national leaders to share knowledge and experiences in tobacco control.

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