Planning and Legislating Tobacco Control in Laos

Planning and Legislating Tobacco Control in Laos (PALTCIL). The tobacco epidemic is one of the greatest public health challenges in the Southeast Asia region. One in four of the deaths that occur from the effects of tobacco occur in this Region. Although there have been no national surveys on tobacco use in Lao PDR, estimates suggest that 59% of males and 13% of females smoke. Smoking’s effects usually fall disproportionately on the poor. This project is fighting to bring Tobacco Control to Lao PDR, from being one of the last countries in the world where no tobacco control law exists.

Donors: Bloomberg Initiative, International Union Against Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, Tobacco Free Kids
Amount: $99,830USD
Start: 1st August 2007
Finish: 31st July 2009
Location: Vientiane Capital
Beneficiaries: Nation-wide population

Main Objective:

Strengthen the work of the Lao Ministry of Health’s Tobacco Control Taskforce (TCT) in developing a strategic approach to implementation of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC). Strengthen and mobilize the existing local Lao network for tobacco control through provision of knowledge, expertise and resources.

Main Activities:

  • Develop a TCT five-year strategic plan to extend tobacco control in Laos.
  • Develop national legislation for comprehensive tobacco control that is approved by the National Assembly by the end of the project.
    – Advertising bans
    – Health warnings
    – Restrictions on sale
    – Smoke-free places
    – Enforcement and penalties
  • Develop both a physical and online resource center at ADRA Laos, with resources in Lao and English, to provide technical assistance to policy makers.
  • Establish a Tobacco Control Working Group (TCWG) for Laos, composed of government and non-government representatives and key stakeholders, that meets at least monthly to support the TCT in the achieving the above objectives.
  • Develop a policy paper that presents the context, purpose and benefits of the draft legislation.
  • Build the capacity of tobacco control stakeholders in Laos