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Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, celebrated her country’s progress on tobacco control at the first-ever South East Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, held in Dhaka.

Following a protracted legal battle, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has upheld 2014’s law banning all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship – a victory in the campaign to reduce tobacco use. Implementation of this legislation had been delayed after a legal challenge from Philip Morris Pakistan.

Long popular in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, shisha or water pipes are increasingly popular in other regions – despite the risk for cancer that they pose to both smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.

A new course on building sustainable funds for tobacco control programmes has been successfully piloted in Bangladesh.The pilot launched the next phase of The Union’s innovative work to help develop sustainable funding mechanisms that are tailored for the legal and financial context of individual countries – the goal being to secure consistent cash flow for programmes to reduce tobacco use in today’s over-burdened health systems.

Research carried out in six cities with dangerous levels of air pollution indicates that air quality inside venues that allow smoking is even worse than outdoors. The study, published today in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was co-authored by tobacco control experts at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The third plenary of the Union World Conference on Lung Health 2015, explored how governments are innovating to transform under-funded areas of public health through taxing products that harm health, and earmarking these increased revenues for specific programmes.

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