Every year, More than 1.3 million people died in South-East Asia, by the consumption of tobacco. It includes more than 250 million smokers and approximately the same number of smokeless tobacco users.
“We know that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths” World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Director for South East Asia, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh was told at the WHO’s South-East Asia regional committee meeting at Dili, Timor – Leste. Health Ministers and officials of 11 countries are participated to discuss the health agenda for the South–East Asia.
She added, “Worldwide tobacco use kills nearly six million people annually with over 6,00,000 deaths due to exposure to second hand smoke. Many types of smoking and smokeless tobacco products are used in the region, which poses difficulties to harmonize taxation and regulations for controlling tobacco use”
Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh also told, India has to increase the size of pictorial warning on one side of the tobacco pack from 40% to 80% of the packet. India was not represented at the ministerial level meeting.
- Timor Leste Prime Minister – Rui Maria de Araujo [Former Health Minister of the country]*
- WHO Regional Director for South East Asia – Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh
- Timor –Leste or East Timor Currency – US$