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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 

Group_Picture_in_MOHNepal Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAPA) on Friday submitted two memorandums to Health Minister, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, demanding the government draft a comprehensive alcohol policy and raise the issue in the upcoming September UN meeting about alcohol as the main cause for non-communicable diseases.. Prof. Doctor, Mathura Pd. Shrestha, Advisor of NAPA leaded the team, and Sumnima Tuladhar, National Coordinator NAPA, had delivered the memorandum to the Health Minister after dictating it. 

In May 2010 the UN General Assembly (GA) passed Resolution 64/265 which called for the convening of a high-level meeting of the GA in September 2011 in New York on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. This resolution reflects a growing recognition of NCDs as a major threat to development in developing countries. It is expected that the Outcomes Statement of the UN High Level Meeting will be a declaration with clear, binding commitments, measurable targets and long-term agreements and programmes. It will also form a clear programme of action for governments, the UN system, and civil society. So NAPA urged the government to raise awareness in the UN meeting that alcohol is the main cause for non-communicable diseases..

Nepal along with 193 countries of the world has already ratified the World Health Organization's Global Strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. Hence, a comprehensive alcohol policy is both necessary and important for the country to amend the current act, directives and laws or bring new laws to fulfil the international responsibility of the state. Through the memorandum NAPA urged the government to bring awareness on these issues.

After receiving the memorandums, Health Minister, Shakti Bahadur Basnet said, "We don't have any disagreement in raising the issues in the UN meeting as alcohol is the main cause for non-communicable diseases ". Similarly he also emphasised the necessity of a comprehensive alcohol policy in Nepal. For this, he said, "A high level committee will soon be formed consulting with relevant stakeholders".

Nepal Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAPA) is a national level network established in 2009 by the effort of civil society organization’s working in human rights, social justice, and alcohol control. It has been studying the impact of alcohol use in the community through active research working against harmful alcohol use as well as coordinating with Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA).

CWIN-Nepal, Resource Center for Primary Health Care, FWLD, Richmond Fellowship Nepal, Voice of Children, Consumers Forum Nepal, Youth Concern Forum and other members of the NAPA also participated in the programme,. 09:56

Tobacco Control and Regulation Act (2068) has been enforced into action from 7 Aug. 2011 in Nepal. According to the Act, smoking is prohibited in all the public places such as offices, educational institutions, public vehicles, child care homes, cinemas, pool sides, shopping arcades,

etc. The act also prohibits any kind of promotion, advertisement and sponsorship to promote tobacco. The outlets of any tobacco product should display statutory message covering 75% of the cover. Any forms of tobacco should nto be sold to children under 18 and pregnant women. Similarly, it is forbidden to sell single sticks of cigarette.

In Nepal, every day,  44 people die  due to tobacco related harms. This act has become a milestone in the public health sector. It is everyone's responsibility to implement the act by raising awareness and taking initiation to report violation of the legal provisions.

Let's Implement the Tobacco Control & Regulation Act.

Ensure Every Citizen's Right to Live in a Tobacco Free Society.