Focus Area of Work: Advancing Tobacco Control in Nepal

Tobacco epidemic is one of the greatest public health threats that the world has ever faced. Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year across the world. Over 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low and middle income countries where the burden of tobacco related diseases and deaths is enormous. Tobacco consumption is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), chronic non-infectious respiratory diseases (like COPD), cancers, and diabetes.

The economic burden of tobacco in Nepal is huge. Furthermore, it costs 47 billion Nepali rupees each year which accounted for 1.8 % of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Worse than this, tobacco kills more than 27000 people annually equivalent to around 15 percent of total deaths in Nepal. According to STEPS Survey 2019 the prevalence of total tobacco usage in adults is 28.9% (male- 48.3%, and female- 11.6%). The 17.1% of adults (males 28.0% and female 7.5%) smoke tobacco and 18.3% of adults (males 33.3% and females 4.9%) use smokeless tobacco. Likewise, 2.5% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke at work place and 33.5% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke at home. This indicates that the prevalence of tobacco use in high in Nepal and it is increasing every year.

Our key working area is advancing tobacco control in Nepal. We primarily provide research based technical assistance in drafting, and formulating the tobacco control legislations and advocate strongly for implementing the formulated tobacco control laws and regulations in Nepal. Moreover, we support and encourage concerned bodies (Policy Makers, MPs, Govt. Officials, Media, Civil Society and Law Makers) to obtain their strong commitments to work together for effective implementation of tobacco control laws including mandatory 90% pictorial health warning, ban on selling loose cigarette, and sales ban to minors and pregnant women. Our efforts are primarily focused on the following areas;