Myanmar: Ministry of Health and Sports guidelines on interactions with the tobacco industry

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat

The Ministry of Health and Sports of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar adopted, on 17 August 2020, Directive 91/2020 which contains guidance on interactions with “cigar and tobacco product manufacturer, distributor, seller or related person”. The Ministry of Health and Sports elaborated these guidelines under the power conferred to it by section 19 of the Control of Smoking and Consumption of Tobacco Products Law.

This guidance requires implementation of a code of conduct that restricts staff and officials from meeting with tobacco industry representatives without permission from the Permanent Secretary. The Permanent Secretary will decide, when approached in writing by those tobacco industry representatives that are concerned with these guidelines, whether the respective staff member could or could not meet the tobacco industry representatives and what are the conditions in which such meeting could take place.

The new measure (Directive No.91/2020) is intended to increase transparency and ensure that details of any meetings with the tobacco industry – for example, meeting time and date, objective, location and attendees – are recorded. The meeting minutes should be made available to the public, according to the guidelines.

These guidelines adopted in Myanmar strengthen implementation of Article 5.3 of the Convention and are in accordance with the guidelines of this Article adopted at COP3. With doing so, Myanmar joined those Parties to the WHO FCTC that have already adopted similar measures.

The full English version (unofficial translation) of the document is available here.

This measure emerges in the recent series of tobacco control policies introduced by Myanmar, including 75% pictorial health warnings and 100% smoke-free regulations. Efforts continue to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products and to strengthen the national tobacco control law. Myanmar is one of the countries participating in the FCTC 2030 project, an implementation assistance framework operated by the Convention Secretariat.

For more information, please, contact: Dr Mya Lay Nwe, Ministry of Health and Sports (e-mail: drmyalaynwe@gmail.com).

For latest information on tobacco control in Myanmar, please, see: https://untobaccocontrol.org/impldb/myanmar/

A recent summary published in the local media is available here.

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