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Edinburgh, UK, 6 September 2016 – The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease [The Union] has today welcomed the results of a national survey in Vietnam which indicates the start of a downward trend in the numbers of people smoking.

We congratulate Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on his new appointment as the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). And we congratulate WHO for engaging the active support of so dedicated a public health champion.

A new toolkit designed for public health professionals to assess compliance with smoke-free laws in hospitality venues has been developed – and made publicly available – by The Union and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Myanmar’s Minister of Health and Sports committed to significant advances in the national tobacco control strategy during a recent meeting with The Union: increasing tobacco taxes, ensuring effective implementation of smoke-free, and regulation of smokeless tobacco products. Dr Myint Htwe also confirmed that 75 percent graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging will come into force in September this year, with a view to introducing plain packaging in the future.

Uruguay has won the six-year legal battle launched by Philip Morris International (PMI) in 2010 before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) – one of the world’s smallest countries claiming a significant victory over one of the world’s largest corporations.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2016 (WNTD) was ‘Get Ready for Plain Packaging’. The Union joined international calls for countries to introduce plain tobacco packaging to encourage users to quit and discourage non-users from trying addictive nicotine products. Further, The Union called for a ‘plain packaging’ approach to e-cigarettes – this burgeoning industry is increasingly owned by tobacco companies renowned for targeting children with powerful marketing campaigns.

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