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        Myanmar’s capital city, Nay Pyi Taw, has issued a decree extending the requirements specified by the country’s national tobacco control law and making smokefree legislation more comprehensive in the Nay Pyi Taw region. Smoking is now prohibited in hospitals, clinics, workplaces, children’s playgrounds, education facilities and commercial accommodation.

        Under Myanmar’s national Control of Smoking and Consumption of Tobacco Products law, restaurants are required to have designated smoking areas, but other public places, such as tea shops and establishments known as “cold drinks shops”, aren't mentioned at all in the law.

        This city level decree, issued by the Nay Pyi Taw Development Committee (NPTDC), is the first of its kind in Myanmar, and is intended to close gaps like these in the national law. Under the decree, all air-conditioned restaurants, tea shops and cold drinks shops must be smokefree, and non-air-conditioned (partially open air) restaurants, tea shops and cold drinks shops can have designated smoking areas, but these must be outside.

        Myanmar has a high overall smoking rate of 26.1 percent, with 43.8 percent of adult men and 8.4 percent of adult women who smoke. The Mayor of Nay Pyi Taw said that he hopes that this new decree will protect the city’s one million citizens from tobacco smoke, and will increase public awareness of the dangers of smoking.

        An event was held to promote the decree, which was attended by 550 participants including high-level national and subnational government officials, academics and representatives from civil society and the media. At the event, the Minister of Health and Sports praised Nay Pyi Taw’s commitment to curbing the tobacco epidemic: “Tobacco use causes chronic diseases which not only burden the patient but also the family, community and country.” He urged other cities in Myanmar to follow the example set by Nay Pyi Taw.

        It is hoped that the collaboration between NPTDC and the Ministry of Health and Sports will lead to stronger enforcement of tobacco control laws in the region. “The Union congratulates Nay Pyi Taw for its commitment to tobacco control,” said Dr Tara Sing Bam, Deputy Director for the Asia Pacific region at The Union. “Subnational leadership plays a key role to fulfil the implementation gaps in tobacco control, and can make each sector accountable to identify local solutions to the local problems.”

        The Union provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Sports and Nay Pyi Taw government for tobacco control. Nay Pyi Taw is a member of the Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Tobacco Control and Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention (APCAT), and representatives from Nay Pyi Taw declared their commitment to advance tobacco control in their city at the 4th APCAT Summit in 2019.


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        The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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