Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 12 February 2019 – Tobacco use is harming people, businesses, economic development in Cambodia. Preliminary findings from an investment case developed by the United Nations to inform the Government’s efforts on tobacco control were examined in a workshop this week in Phnom Penh.
The workshop was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Tobacco is both a health and development issue. Substantial evidence demonstrates that tobacco deepens inequalities, impoverishes families, slows economic growth and even compounds environmental damage. The impacts across social, economic and environmental dimensions are captured in the report “Tobacco Control as an Accelerator for the Sustainable Development Goals in Cambodia” jointly published by UNDP, WHO and the WHO FCTC Secretariat. Tobacco control is one of the few effective investment options that benefit all three dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – economic, social and environmental.
Cambodia, among 181 Parties to the WHO FCTC, is one of 15 countries receiving dedicated UN support through the FCTC 2030 Project, which aims to accelerate implementation of the world’s first and only treaty on a public health issue. The WHO FCTC Investment Case, a key activity of the FCTC 2030 Project, will analyse the health and economic costs of tobacco use. It also estimates the potential health and economic gains from scaled-up implementation of evidence-based tobacco control measures, including the expected return on investment (ROI), over the next 15 years.
The Investment Case will also investigate the impacts of tobacco use on lower income groups and the benefits of stronger tobacco control measures to improve inequalities in Cambodia. The Investment Case will provide evidence to advance multiple development goals simultaneously by finding the best value for the money.
RTI International, who developed the FCTC investment case in conjunction with national economists in the project countries, informed Cambodian health economists, epidemiologists and policymakers during the workshop on the findings, data sources and methodology used in the Cambodian model.
Inputs from the participants will be reflected in the final analysis and policy recommendations, expected to be released during a handover event in the middle of the year.
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