KATHMANDU, Kathmandu, Feb 27: Though 21 months have already been over since the government announced the enforcement of the guideline for including pictorial elements and messages of health warning in the packaging and labeling of tobacco products , some tobacco industries are yet to abide by the guidelines.
The guideline is meant for assisting the enforcement of the Tobacco Products (Control and Regulation) Act-2068 BS.
Information about this was shared at a program here today. But the names of industries not following the guideline were not made public.
Giving 90 percent space to health warning messages on tobacco products through pictorial elements and texts on the bundles, packets, wrapping bands and parcels of tobacco products are mandatory in the guideline which also bans tobacco use in public places.
A study came out with the finding that the number of tobacco users has significantly gone down with the government decision to include pictorial elements and messages of health warning in the packaging and labeling of tobacco products.
The program was jointly organized by an online news service 'Nepali Health' and Action Nepal. A person who used to consume around 11 packets of tobacco every day earlier consumed just five packets these days, the study shows.
The World Health Organization (WHO) report shows that some 15,000 people succumb to health problems caused by the use of tobacco products every year in Nepal. Smoking-caused cancer is the most common among them.
WHO projects that in Nepal-like underdeveloped countries, one among six people is vulnerable to cancer.
Action Nepal Chairperson, Ananda Chand, urged the bodies concerned to strictly enforce the provision of incorporating 90 percent health warning related message and pictures in packets, parcel, and wrappers on tobacco products, saying diseases emerging due to use of tobacco- products have become the main public health problem.
Chand said that the Health Ministry should make the guideline mandatory by carrying out monitoring as domestic industries have not followed the government's provision.
Similarly, Chief Editor of the Nepali Health Online, Ram Prasad Neupane, said that media should not stop to raise the issue as Tobacco Products (Control and Regulation) Act and Health Regulations-2072 BS remain always in shadow due to frequent change of leadership of the Health Ministry.
Joint-Secretary and Spokesperson at the Health Ministry, Bhogendra Dotel, said that monitoring would be made strict in days ahead for the implementation of provision of prohibiting smoking at public places.
He further said that the Alcohol Control Act is going to be introduced for the effective implementation of Alcohol Policy formulated by the Ministry recently.
Saying smoking is the main reason behind cancer, senior physician Dr Karbirnath Yogi said that smoking causes different diseases related to the respiratory system, heart and lung.
Likewise, Under-Secretaries at the Ministry Shambhu Regmi and Khemanand Bhusal, lawmaker Radha Krishna Kandel and Chairperson of Health and Awareness Forum, Tika Kandel, pointed out the monitoring for effective implementation of the act and regulation. RSS