Warning on Tobacco Products Capacity Building within Legislative Framework
Partner: The Union (International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease), Bloomberg Initiative to reduce Tobacco use (BI).
Duration: December 2018 – November 2020
Just like many other low- and middle-income countries, Pakistan is overburdened with serious communicable and non-communicable disease epidemics. Lung, mouth and throat cancers have been increasingly visible in the social strata. The capacity to prevent, control and treat these diseases is hampered by weak health information systems and lack of experienced personnel to provide the information needed to improve both policy and practice. SDPI realizes the shortfall and intends to play vital role in raising awareness and capacity building for policy makers.
Pakistan has been a signatory to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) since 2004. The government has multiple anti-tobacco laws in place, yet Pakistan is among the top ten countries in the world with prevalence of highest tobacco use. Successful campaigns for reducing tobacco use shows that Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) on tobacco packages increase risk perceptions, reduce the appeal of tobacco use and promote smoking cessation.
Notably, out of over 100 countries with existing textual/pictorial warning laws globally, regional neighbours such as Nepal, and India have 90% and 85% GHW respectively. Through formation of CTCR, and capacity building strategy, we envision to promote robust implementation of 50% and 60% warning, annual rotation of warning, and absence of warning on smokeless and imported tobacco, alongside other best practices in tobacco control as the priority engagements.
Through this project we aspires to achieve; creation of Parliamentarians’ Caucus for Tobacco Control and Regulations (CTCR) to enhance parliamentarians’ capacity to understand issues and laws governing tobacco control regime. Working in close collaboration with the partners and likeminded organizations such as Tobacco Control Cell at Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (TCC, MoNHSRC), we propose development and implementation of robust legislations related to GHWs and its promulgation for imported as well as smoke and smokeless tobacco products. Moreover, awareness campaigns will be organized for policy makers proposing and facilitating the development of adequate GHW Laws. Such laws need to include enhancing capacity for stricter warning laws on tobacco packs, yearly rotation, and resolve to follow best practices in tobacco warning as well as strengthening of anti-tobacco partner groups and networks.
The project seeks to achieve these outcomes through formation of a network of experts from relevant organizations dedicated to look after legislation and policy development including a Parliamentary caucus. SDPI hopes to strengthen existing networks as well as raise new platforms to work on policy front with support from members of network especially Parliamentarians and TCC MoNHSRC for policy development and reform regarding warning on all tobacco products and enhance capacity of related institutes to oversee implementation of GHWs and other legislation for tobacco control.
Purpose: To build and strengthen capacity of legislators and relevant organizations working on policy reform and its implementation for Tobacco Control including issue of GHWs on imported and smokeless tobacco products..
Objective 1. Creation of Parliamentarians’ Caucus for Tobacco Control and Regulations (CTCR) and Networking.
Objective 2. Capacity Building – Facilitate Development and Promulgation of Laws for GHW on all Forms of Tobacco products.