Smoke-free zones for 25 th SEA Games in Laos !

Posted by samakomlao Thursday, January 3, 2008

Photo: Model of new national stadium of Laos for 2009 Sea Games

The Sub-Committee for Tobacco Control and the Tobacco Control Taskforce expect to have smoke-free zones declared for the 25 th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2009.

The Chairman of the Tobacco Control Taskforce, Prof Sithat Insisiengmay, told Vientiane Times on Monday that his taskforce and the sub-committee of the Lao National Sports Committee first met last month and are now in the process of drafting a decree before sending it to the Prime Minister for signing.

“This decree will help us achieve our goal of a tobacco free games, with events held in Luang Prabang, Savannkhet provinces and Vientiane,” he said.

He said the taskforce had also successfully implemented smoke-free zones in the Ministry of Public Health, and most hospitals in Vientiane as well as provincial hospitals of Luang Prabang and Savannakhet.

Hospitals in Champassak province have already sent a proposal to the taskforce, which should be implemented early this year, he added.

“Ourselves, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance are together pushing for the implementation of a smoke-free 25 th SEA Games,” said an assistant of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative Programme, Dr Bounlonh Kesouvannasane.

He added that funding would be needed for a media campaign, informing the various committees who work for the games and publishing material.

The new Tobacco Control Law also passed the first step in Sub-Committee level at the Ministries of Public Health, Industry and Commerce, and Justice and the Prime Minister's Office, he said.

He added the draft will be sent to a committee of nine ministries for consideration before sending it to the 5 th session of sixth legislature of the National Assembly in 2008 for approval.

Smoke-free areas are in line with the World Health Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) ratified by Laos in 2006.

By Panyasith Thammavongsa
Content: Vientianetimes
Photo: Vientianemai

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