At its sixth session in Moscow, 2014, the Conference of the Parties recognized smokeless tobacco use as a global health problem. Smokeless tobacco is a risk factor of many non-communicable diseases, and the Conference of the Parties, in its decision, emphasised the importance of developing and enforcing policies on this matter. Consequently, Parties felt the need to establish a global knowledge hub to support the work of controlling smokeless tobacco use.
For this purpose, the Government of India designated the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) an the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) to serve as the WHO FCTC global knowledge hub on smokeless tobacco. The NICPR, based in Noida, India, is a renowned institute in the field of tobacco related surveillance, epidemiological studies and research activities.
A formal launch of the global knowledge hub took place on 6 April 2016 in the Institute, and was attended by officials from the Government of India, the WHO FCTC Secretariat, WHO and NICPR.
The objectives of the knowledge hub include: generating knowledge and sharing expertise and information on smokeless tobacco through a web portal and social media; assisting Parties to the Convention to develop programmes and policies in the area of smokeless tobacco use; and supporting the Convention Secretariat in its work to promote control of smokeless tobacco use globally.
While carrying out its functions, the NICPR will work in collaboration with various national stakeholders such as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, non-governmental organizations, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), as well as international stakeholders and partners of the Convention Secretariat.