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Local solutions, local actions for #GlobalGoals to control tobacco and NCDs

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Dr Tara Singh Bam, Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and an inspiration behind the spirit of APCAT said that, "The key objective of this alliance is to increase political commitment by working at the local level to identify local solutions to address the issues of NCDs prevention and tobacco control and to translate them into action. Local leadership can play a critical role to deliver best practices and to save lives. I would really like to see effective action on the ground. Also, enhancing media engagement with the local leaders and also with the national policy makers can go a long way to make our leaders deliver on what they have committed."

Dr Paula I Fujiwara, Scientific Director of The Union said: "Over 70% of global deaths are attributable to NCDs, such as, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs, like heart diseases and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, among others. Each year, 15 million people aged 30-69 die from NCDs, 86% of these premature deaths are occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Most NCDs are preventable so there is no excuse of inaction if we are to deliver on commitments of Sustainable Development Goals and reduce NCDs by 25% by 2025."

"Tobacco use is a major common risk factor of NCDs. Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year globally. Evidence-based tobacco control measures have proven to reduce the demand and supply of tobacco products. This includes protecting people from exposure to tobacco smoke, banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, requiring health warnings on tobacco packaging, promoting tobacco cessation, and increasing tobacco taxes. Local leaders play a critical role in implementation of health policies" said Dr Gan Quan, Director (Tobacco Control), The Union.

NCDs prevention and tobacco control go hand in hand. We cannot control NCDs without endgame of tobacco.

Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)

(Shobha Shukla is the Managing Editor at CNS (Citizen News Service) and was 2019 IAS Science Media Scholar in Mexico and 2018 HIV Prevention Research Fellow in Spain. Follow her on Twitter @shobha1shukla or visit www.citizen-news.org)

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