The Kathmandu Post, 8th May 2017, Kathmandu
The government, in its bid to discourage the tobacco consumption, is coming up with a mandatory provision for giving a cent percent space to the health warning messages onto packets of tobacco products. Such provision will come into effect from 2018 AD.
Addressing the 'South Asian leadership training for the control of tobacco products' in the Capital on Monday, Minister for Health Gagan Kumar Thapa said the Nepal government aimed to build a tobacco-free generation by 2030 AD and believed that giving a full coverage to the health warning messages including the pictorial against tobacco consumption to its packets would somehow make the consumers health conscious and control its production.
As per the existing provision, 90 per cent space on the packets of tobacco products should be used to print/publish health warning messages.
It will help reduce attractiveness for the tobacco use and thus decrease in production, contributing to build a healthy society, according to the Health Minister.
On the recommendation of the World Bank and the World Health Organisation, the government is learnt to have been planning to hike excise duty and value added tax for tobacco products to discourage its production.
"The government is working to raise the minimum legal age to 21 years for buying and use of tobacco products and this provision will be in place by 2018 AD," the Health Minister said.
A total of 72 individuals including the government employees, legal entrepreneurs, journalists and people working with the anti tobacco campaign from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives are taking part in the event.
The event, jointly organised by the Ministry of Health, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, the Union and the Action Nepal is expected to help control the use of tobacco products through combined efforts, Action Nepal's chair Ananda Chand said.
The Union's deputy director for Asia Pacific Tara Singh Bam said the objective of the raining to develop a leadership to control over tobacco products, the main cause for heart disease and cancer.
It is noted that in recognition of its bids to control the tobacco consumption, Nepal had won the 'Bloomberg Global Tobacco Control Award' carrying a purse of Rs 10 million. RSS