WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2021: Addressing New and Emerging Products – Summary on South East Asia Region

All the countries except Indonesia have signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) treaty. In addition, India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are Parties to the “Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (The Protocol) which is an international treaty negotiated by Parties to the FCTC with the objective of eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products through the cooperation of countries. Sri Lanka was the first to be a party to “The Protocol” from the region.

WHO has introduced MPOWER measures to implement FCTC effectively at the country level comprising six elements; Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, Protect people from tobacco smoke, Offer help to quit tobacco use, Warn about the dangers of tobacco, Enforce ban on advertisements and promotions and Raise tax.

Seven countries (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste) of the region have adopted one or more measures either fully or partially addressing Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENNDS). Other countries have no bans or regulations to address ENDS, as per the report.

Five countries (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste) out of eleven have banned the sales and import of ENDS. India has a comprehensive ban that covers sales, production, manufacture, import, export, transport, distribution and storage. In Sri Lanka, the ban is imposed on sales, manufacture, import and offer for sale any e-cigarettes that contain tobacco. Nepal has not implemented a ban on ENDS while it regulates the manufacture, import, distribution, promotion of products with restrictions limited to some places.

Only Nepal completely ban the use of ENDS in all indoor public places, workplaces and public transport ensuring the protection from exposure to ENDS emission by non-users. None of the countries mandates the appearance of large graphic health warnings on ENDS packaging rather than the ban.

Two countries adopted the measures to ban the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of ENDS devices, e-liquids. In India, partially implemented measures are reported while Nepal has completed ban on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of ENDS devices.

Age restrictions to ENDS sale and purchase are applied in only one country (Nepal) in the region where ENDS are not banned.  Regulations applied on ENDS flavors cannot be found in eleven countries in the region. Regulation of ENNDS are the same as ENDS in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

There is a gap in monitoring ENDS use among children, adolescents and adults, through nationally representative surveys in the region. Two countries; Indonesia and Nepal have collected data on the prevalence of ENDS use among adults and only Thailand have the data on the prevalence of ENDS use among adolescents through school-based surveys.

Excise tax is applied on ENDS e-liquids differently in open and closed systems in countries. Open systems are devices that allow the user to buy e-liquids and fill their device with the mixtures they prefer. Closed systems are products that come with a prefilled container as a cartridge, pod or tank. Excise tax on e-liquids has been applied only for closed systems in Indonesia. Other countries in the region have imposed taxes on neither of the systems.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.