National Consultation on Economics of Tobacco

WHO Country Office for India in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare organised the ‘National Consultation on Economics of Tobacco’ on 20-21 December, 2012. The consultation aimed at strengthening multi-stakeholder collaboration to develop a framework for collaborative action and policy to address the economics of tobacco, which includes, demand and supply reduction strategies for tobacco control.

The two-day consultation was attended by over 125 officials and stakeholders from government and multiple sectors, both national and state level. The participants included senior policy makers from departments of tax/finance, commerce, agriculture, rural development, labour, and forest. Also, state nodal officers, tobacco control state consultants; representatives from UNDP, ILO, World Bank, FAO, IFAD and civil society organisations participated in the meeting.

The consultation outlined the challenges and also developed action points for implementing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The discussions comprehensively covered areas like price and tax measures; health and economic cost of tobacco use; and alternate vocations for tobacco workers and bidi rollers.

As a way-forward, a policy recommendation document is currently being prepared that will consolidate the working group’s discussions on tobacco taxation, health cost of tobacco use and alternative livelihood for tobacco farmers. This will be presented to the state governments and stakeholder ministries at the central level.