The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (ICMR – NICPR), in collaboration with WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, organised 2-day international meeting on Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion and Sponsorship: Ban for Smokeless Tobacco products with focus on South-East Asian Region (SEAR),from 6 th -7 th November 2019.
The meeting was attended by representatives of various SEAR countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. Along with this, state nodal officers for tobacco control from 10 states where smokeless tobacco burden is high in India participated in the meeting. distinguished researchers, policy experts and activists of smokeless tobacco control also present. The meeting began with the presentation from Dr.Shalini Singh, Director, ICMR-NICPR &WHO FCTC KH-SLT.It provided the overview of the activities of WHO FCTC Global Knowledge Hub on Smokeless Tobacco and meeting objectives. WHO Representative Dr.Fikru Tullu and Shree Devesh Deval,Director (ME,TC,DDAP),Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,Govt.of India were also present to address the gathering. The meeting was also addressed by PadmaShri Prof.Balram Bhargav ,Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General, ICMR and Dr.Jagdish Kaur,Regional Advisor,Tobacco Free Initiative,WHO SEARO,New Delhi,India.
There were presentations from the SEAR region country representatives and Indian state representatives. Case studies and parties experience in implementing SLT control policies were discussed and panel discussions were held to address the challenges related to surrogate,internet, satellite and other forms of cross-border advertising, health burden and economics of smokeless tobacco products.On the second day group work was planned to chalk out the country action plan
for SLT TAPS ban.These recommendations were presented by Dr.Shalini Singh,Director ICMR-NICPR in the presence of Shree Vikas Sheel,IAS,Joint Secretary,Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.