SEATCA’s new and expanded The Tobacco Control Atlas launched at COP7

Bangkok, Thailand, 10 November 2016: Of the countries in the ASEAN, male adult smoking prevalence is highest in Indonesia (66%) and lowest in Singapore (23.1%) according to the third edition of the ASEAN Tobacco Control Atlas released by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) during the fourth day of the seventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to the WHO FCTC happening now in New Delhi, India.

The third edition of the Tobacco Control Atlas tracks the rapid tobacco control policy changes in ten ASEAN countries. It presents an update on the progress and achievements in implementing tobacco control measures across ASEAN countries and identifies areas for continuing work towards SEATCA’s vision of a healthy, tobacco-free ASEAN.

Other key findings in the Atlas:

  • ASEAN continues to be a target for tobacco market growth with projected cigarette volume sales increasing from 514 billion to 535 billion sticks between 2016 and 2018, primarily in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
  • Tobacco tax policies have been strengthened in Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand and have helped to reduce affordability of tobacco products.
  • After the Philippines Sin Tax Reform Law in 2012, Department of Health’s budget increased from PHP 42.15 billion to PHP 83.72 billion between 2012 and 2014.
  • The Lao government continues to lose revenues due to its unfair Investment License Agreement (ILA) with the tobacco industry. The government collected net tobacco tax revenue of USD 52.04 million instead of USD 131.46 million, an estimated loss of USD 80 million between 2002 and 2013.
  • Three ASEAN countries have established health promotion or tobacco control funds through surcharge taxes (Thailand and Vietnam) and treasury budget (Malaysia).
  • Only Philippines has a procedure for government officers on interactions with the tobacco industry and its representatives and bans unnecessary interactions.
  • Most countries have banned smoking in workplaces and public places, however they still have challenges in enforcement of the law.
  • All ten ASEAN countries have legislated pictorial health warnings (PHWs) on cigarettes packages, four of which are among the biggest pictorial health warnings worldwide: Thailand (85%), Brunei, Lao PDR and Myanmar (75%).
  • Tobacco advertising and promotion including at point-of-sale is banned in seven ASEAN countries (except in Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines). In addition, beginning 2017, a ban on retail display of tobacco products will be enforced in Singapore, similar to bans in Thailand (since 2005) and Brunei (since 2010).
  • Kiddie packs (less than 20 sticks per pack) are still allowed in Indonesia, Myanmar, and Philippines, and there is no restriction on single sticks sales in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, making cigarettes easily accessible to youth.

“The third edition of the ASEAN Atlas moves tobacco issues to a new level, tracking the rapid changes since the first edition in 2013. This Atlas is far more than just a statement of the status quo – it is a challenge and a call to action for countries in the region,” said Professor Dr. Judith Mackay, Director, Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control.

“The ASEAN Tobacco Control Atlas – now on its third edition – has proven invaluable in developing regional action plans, which in turn guide the development of national action plans,” said Dr. Susan Mercado, Director, NCDs and Health through the Life-course Division of WHO WPRO.

The Tobacco Control Atlas is based on robust scientific data sources. It is designed to be a practical resource for policy development not only in Southeast Asia, but also in developing countries throughout the world.

“I am thrilled that SEATCA’s first and second ASEAN Tobacco control Atlas released in 2013 and 2014 were well-received. The feedback from our colleagues within ASEAN and around the world has been amazingly positive. They found the atlas very useful, informative, and well organized. All the comments and encouragement have inspired SEATCA’s preparation of this third edition, which incorporates updated information, as well as adds new topics. We firmly believe that this edition which comes in five ASEAN languages (Khmer, Bahasa Indonesia, Laotian, Burmese and Vietnamese) will be useful to move tobacco control policy in the ASEAN,“ said Ms. Bungon Ritthiphakdee, SEATCA’s Executive Director.

Contact:

Wendell C Balderas, Media and Communications Officer – SEATCA
Email: wendell@seatca.org | Mobile: +63 999 881 2117 ##

Download the Tobacco Control Atlas at: http://seatca.org/dmdocuments/The Tobacco Control Atlas ASEAN Region 3rd Edition 2016.pdf