Improving Information to Enable Effective Tobacco Control Intervention and Measure Progress Over Time: The Cambodia Country Experience

Document Type: Correspondence and Letter to Editor

Authors

1 (Former) World Health Organization Representative Office in Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

2 (Current) MonEval International, Australia.

3 Director of Demographic Statistics Census and Survey Department, National Institute of Statistics, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

4 World Health Organization Representative Office in Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

5 School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Australia.

6 Division of Healthy Environments and Population, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines.

7 National Center for Health Promotion, Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

8 (Former) South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), Bangkok, Thailand.

9 (Current) Global Centre for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, Pathumthani, Thailand.

Abstract

Tobacco is a leading cause of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) which kill about 41 million people each year. Of these, 15 million die prematurely between the ages of 30 and 69 years, most of which occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a new impetus for countries to accelerate tobacco control efforts as they specifically call for strengthening implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and striving to achieve a one-third reduction in premature deaths from NCDs. While NCD prevention and control is a priority in the national strategic plans and policies for health in most countries in the Western Pacific Region, few have formally adopted a national target for reducing tobacco use. Article 20 of the WHO FCTC calls on all countries to improve tobacco surveillance to enable monitoring and evaluation of tobacco control efforts. The increase in timely and standardized comparable data presents new opportunities to set scientifically valid and achievable national indicators and targets for development and implementation of strong tobacco control measures. Cambodia is yet to establish national targets and full implementation of legislative measures. However, with strong tobacco surveillance mechanism in place, it can provide the country experience for a LMIC that has developed its own capacity to conduct periodic monitoring and surveillance of tobacco use and for using national data to advocate successfully for stronger tobacco control policies.

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