One of the Tobacco Control Unit members, Bela, has started her 3-months research stay in The Union South-East Asia (USEA) Region office in New Delhi, India since the beginning of this month. Under the mentorship of Dr. Rana J Singh, her stay aims to understand the current status of e-cigarette regulation and context in South-East Asia region. To achieve it, she will conduct a survey to experts from 7 countries of the USEA region: India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. Additionally, she will have an opportunity to evaluate the compliance of Indian’s prohibition on e-cigarette sale in any forms. To assess the compliance, the USEA team and she will check the availability of e-cigarette sales in shops and kiosks in several cities across India, and investigate any online retailers that still offer e-cigarette products to be purchased in India. India just made a bold step by issuing an Ordinance that ban e-cigarettes production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement on 18th September 2019.
The USEA office was established in 2003 and, currently, is made up of more than 400 organisations and individuals across the USEA region countries: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The institution provides public health expertise to the region’s governments, civil society, corporations, and international agencies. While USEA’s work focuses on tuberculosis control, tobacco control efforts have advanced via several initiatives, including support of 16 Bloomberg Initiatives grantees. USEA also conducts operational research, coordinated capacity-building programmes and provided grant-monitoring management.