In Southeast Asia every year, more than 1.3 million people killed by tobacco use, and the south-east Asia regions only consisting more than 250 million smokers and nearly the same number of smokeless tobacco users in the region, according to WHO.
Regional director for South-East Asia, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said: “We know that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths.”
Singh was speaking at the inauguration of the South-East Asia WHO’s regional committee meeting here where officials and health ministers of 11 nations are meeting to set importance of health and discuss the health agenda for the South-East Asia.
“Worldwide, tobacco use kills nearly six million people annually with over 600,000 deaths due to exposure to second hand smoke,” she said at the inauguration, attended by Timor-Leste Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo, who was earlier the country’s health minister.
The first new state of the 21st century Timor-Leste when it achieved sovereignty on May 20, 2002.
The organization has reiterated many times the number of deaths happened because of tobacco use in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.
Singh said the region was one of the largest producers and users of tobacco products in the world. “Many types of smoking and smokeless tobacco products are used in the region, which poses difficulties to harmonise taxation and regulations for controlling tobacco use,” she added.
In any case, she said, i was energized by the way that the part state in the region had increased their tobacco control exercises.
At the point when asked later at a press session on steps taken by India on tobacco control when compared with its provincial partners, she said, India had “communicated an aim” to build the span of pictorial cautioning on one side of the tobacco pack from 40 percent to 80 percent of the bundle.
She, then again, declined to remark whether India would proceed with its before duty on pictorial cautioning. Singh said WHO might keep on offering counseling to India on tobacco control.