A smoke-free Asean – that’s the vision put forward at a seminar in Jakarta on Friday aimed at curbing tobacco use in South-east Asia.
In his keynote address, Asean Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan said that ‘tobacco use has become a health crisis but it is a crisis that is preventable’, and called for greater attention and cooperation between member states and partners.
‘This man-made epidemic causes tremendous economic losses,’ said Dr Pitsuwan, who noted that the resources and costs needed to treat tobacco-related diseases far outstrips the revenue governments earned from tobacco tax revenue.
The seminar was attended by 60 Asean Secretariat officials, including officials from WHO Indonesia, Indonesia’s Ministry of Health and the South-east Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA). –Sharon Lee, Strait Times
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