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Bangladesh’s first licensing policy for tobacco vendors will be introduced this month throughout the municipality of Jhenaidah, to regulate sales of tobacco products. The scheme closes a significant loophole; although Bangladesh has some strong tobacco control laws, policies such as bans point-of-sale promotion are hard to enforce without a formalised register of vendors.

Government officials and mayors from the Asia Pacific region who met in Singapore for a two-day tobacco control summit have formed an alliance dedicated to curbing the tobacco epidemic. Representatives from Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Laos and Cambodia met 29–30 November to discuss how best to overcome the considerable challenges to tobacco control in the region – which has some of the highest smoking rates in the world.

Governments of all 193 UN Member States are obliged to provide citizens with the ‘highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being.’

Tobacco use is the single greatest preventable cause of premature death worldwide – as such, governments entrusted with protecting the health of citizens should be unswerving in their commitment to reducing tobacco use in all its forms.

The U.S. Surgeon General today released a report on e-cigarettes, raising ‘serious public health concerns’ about rates of use amongst young people. The report, written and reviewed by more than 150 experts, states that in 2015 one in six high school students in the USA reported using e-cigarettes during the month the study was undertaken.

Tobacco control policies are now a key component of a pilot programme to tackle the escalating rates of non-communicable diseases [NCDs] in China. The goal of the pilot is to standardise an holistic approach to NCDs – reducing population exposure to risk factors; early diagnosis and treatment; and increased health education. 

New funds totalling $360 million have been announced today by Bloomberg Philanthropies, furthering its global initiative to reduce tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries with the largest numbers of smokers. Over the last ten years this strategic programme has changed the trajectory of the global tobacco epidemic by supporting the introduction and implementation of policies proven to reduce tobacco use.

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