26th -27th March 2015, SEATCA together with the Laos Ministry of Health(MOH), organized the ‘2nd Smoke-free Lao PDR Workshop: Moving Towards an Intensified Enforcement of the Smoke-free Law’. Dr Path Keungsaneth represented MOH and facilitated the different sessions of the workshop.
The workshop is a follow-up of the 1stsmoke-free workshop conducted last October 2014 where the participants prepared their action plan for the next 5 months. Participants were expected to share their updates, discuss their challenges as well as prepare a new action plan based on what they have learned in the workshop. There were 15 participants from the three cities of Lao PDR: Vientiane, LuangPrabang and Champasak.
Luang Prabang hosted this workshop with Vice Governor H.E. Saysamone Khomthavong, who is also the chairperson of the Tobacco Control Committee. He opened the workshop and emphasized the need to strictly enforce their smoke-free regulation in order to protect the people from exposure to secondhand smoke and preserve their heritage sites.
A smoke-free surveillance of the different places was done by the participants on the 1st day of the workshop and the findings were shared to Luang Prabang Tobacco Control Committee which will help them to improve the enforcement of their smoke-free regulation.
H.E. Mey Marady, the adviser of the APSARA Authority was invited to share their experience in making the Angkor Sites smoke-free. He also visited the different heritage sites and shared his findings to the participants.
The participants took time to discuss their provincial regulations by making sure that they know if the different settings are 100% smoke-free or still allows smoking rooms. The smoke-free meter (11 key elements in making a city smoke-free) which they prepared in the 1st workshop was updated based on their accomplishments in the last 5 months.Another workshop will be done on the 4th quarter of 2015 to determine the progress of the three cities.