Myanmar: Threefold increase in tobacco consumption among youths under 15

27 June 2019

From 2001 to 2016, cigarette and tobacco consumption among the youths under 15 has increased around threefold, said Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe, at a workshop on the control against tobacco and tobacco-related products , held in Nay Pyi Taw on June 25.

“According to the surveys in 2014, over 43 per cent of the adult males and over eight per cent of females are cigarette smokers while more than 62 per cent of males and over 24 per cent of females consume the betel with tobacco. As a national campaign, the Ministry of Health and Sports will enable the school children to have a healthy lifestyle free of tobacco, alcohol and drug, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education,” he added. 

The State Counsellor has given a guidance for the cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Sports and the Ministry of Education, in educating children and youths at schools and universities, about the dangers of narcotic drugs, tobacco and alcohol consumption, traffic, knowledge on reproductive health and game addiction.   

According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in 2016,  26 per cent of youths aged between 13 and 15 and four per cent of females smoke cigarettes or chew betel. The ministry will implement the special plans in cooperation with relevant ministries as it is unacceptable from the health and social point of views. 

The consumption of tobacco and tobacco-related products is coupled with the production. The prices of tobacco and tobacco-related products are the lowest among the Asean countries. Despite increased taxes on tobacco and tobacco-related products, the prices of these products are relatively low, compared to those in neighbouring countries. Educative works and actions taken against lawbreakers are still weak though the Control of Smoking and Consumption of Tobacco Product Law 2006 is passed. 

Eleven Myanmar