Regional Workshop on Dedicated Tobacco Taxes for HPF/HPB’s

Tobacco control and other health advocates from no less than 15 countries around the Western Pacific region, North America and Europe will gathered in Hanoi, Vietnam, from September 14 to 16 2010 for a regional workshop to establish and strengthen programs and initiatives to rationalize taxes on tobacco throughout the Western Pacific and ASEAN regions.

Delegates coming to Hanoi, headlined by government officials from Vietnam, the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office(WPRO), Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance- Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SEATCA-SITT), participants were from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Malaysia, Mongolia, Samoa, Tonga and Vietnam.  They were updated on progress of other countries using dedicated tobacco taxes for health promotion boards and foundations(HPB/HPF), learned from existing HPB/HPF’s from around the world to develop tools and mechanisms that can strengthen the legal, legislative, financial, and programmatic environments for tobacco control on the regional and national levels via the establishment of new HPB/HPF’s, identified and addressed gaps and needs and started developing strategic interventions for these proposed health promotion foundations.

Vietnam Vice Minister of Health, Dr. Nguyen Thi Xuyen Minh attended the event and gave the welcome address, while Dr. Susan Mercado, TFI-WPRO regional adviser read the opening remarks on behalf of WHO Vietnam country representative Dr. Jean Marc Olive.  Other speakers and resource persons were: Mr Lam Pin Woon (Singapore HPB), Dr Supreda Adulyanont (ThaiHealth), Mr David Malone (Healthway), Ms Barbara Mouy (Nossal Institute for Global Health), Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit (Consultant to ThaiHealth), Dr Bertino Somaini (Swiss Health Promotion Foundation), Prof Vivian Lin and Ms Sally Fawkes (La Trobe University), Prof Ben Teehankee (De La Salle University) and Mr. Steve Tamplin (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health).

The Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH) co-hosted the meeting in Hanoi with the WHO WPRO and SEATCA. SEATCA runs the SITT program, which encourage governments in Southeast Asia to adopt more progressive tobacco tax policies and lower smoking prevalence, while increasing government revenues that can further assist national health programs.

For more information on the Workshop, contact:  info@seatca.org