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Journal of School Health. 2008 Jul; 78(7):368-373.India made 2 important policy statements regarding tobacco control in the past decade. First, the India Tobacco Control Act (ITCA) was signed into law in 2003 with the goal to reduce tobacco consumption and protect citizens from exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Second, in 2005, India ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). During this same period, India conducted the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in 2003 and 2006 in an effort to track tobacco use among adolescents. The GYTS is a school-based survey of students aged 13-15 years. Representative national estimates for India in 2003 and 2006 were used in this study. In 2006, 3.8% of students currently smoked cigarettes and 11.9% currently used other tobacco products. These rates were not significantly different than those observed in 2003. Over the same period, exposure to SHS at home and in public places significantly decreased, whereas exposure to pro-tobacco ads on billboards and the ability to purchase cigarettes in a store did not change significantly. The ITCA and the WHO FCTC have had mixed impacts on the tobacco control effort for adolescents in India. The positive impacts have been the reduction in exposure to SHS, both at home and in public places. The negative impacts are seen with the lack of change in pro-tobacco advertising and ability to purchase cigarettes in stores. The Government of India needs to consider new and stronger provisions of the ITCA and include strong enforcement measures. (author's)
Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: Enhancing global processes to improve health development.
Globalization and Health. 2007 May 22; 3(1):2.This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy. (author's)
UN Chronicle. 1986 Apr; 23: p..The first global evaluation of the World Health Organization's "Strategy for Health for All by the Year 2000' was reviewed by the 31-member Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO)(Geneva, 8-22 January). The Board also demanded action to protect the rights of non-smokers and to prevent and control the spread of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The Board also asked for a special report on health and development in Africa, for review by the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the critical economic situation in Africa in May. Noting that 86 per cent of Member States had reported on evaluation of their national health strategies, the Board urged all Member States to work towards reducing "socioeconomic and related health disparities among people'. (excerpt)