Lao PDR/May 29: The Ministry of information-Culture and Tourism (MICT) organized a meeting with related departments in the ministry and mass media to celebrate World no Tobacco Day 2013.
Chairing the meeting was the Director of the mass media department, Mr. Pineprathana Phanthamaly. Representatives from the department of Mass Media, Mass Culture, Printing Department, and the office of MICT, mass media officers from radio, television, and newspaper attended. In addition, there were also other representatives from the Lao TC Unit, Ministry of Health, WHO Lao PDR, and SEATCA.
Main objective of the meeting was to disseminate Article 13 of the WHO FCTC, BAN TOBACCO ADVERTISING, PROMOTIONS AND SPONSORSHIP.
Aside from the WHO FCTC Article 13, the meeting sought to update the group on the current Ad Ban situation in other Southeast Asia countries.
Lao PDR has a Tobacco Ad Ban Decree No.369/PM approved by the Prime Minister since 23/08/2010. Part II of the decree bans all direct and indirect tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. However, in article 8 of the Lao PDR decree, bans in all advertising excluded big umbrellas and pack displays at point-of-sale. This is a loophole in the decree, and the tobacco industry uses this to their advantage and as a channel of advertising their products. The result of this exception allows umbrellas to be displayed at groceries stores and any shops that sell cigarettes.
The meeting discussed this issue, and the group agreed to work on improving the Ad Ban decree in order to effectively control all forms of tobacco advertising. Participants actively participated and gave their opinion on many matters in Tobacco Control. The meeting was a success, and was adjourned by Mr. Bounhap Souliyo, Deputy director of mass media department, Ministry of Information-Culture and Tourism. (Ms. V. Konsengphengphet, SIS Focal Point, Lao PDR)