It’s the first birthday of SARC-CCT!!!

On15th July 2019 South Asian Regional Consortium Centre for Combating Tobacco (SARC-CCT) was ceremonially launched by the Vice-Chancellor of University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Professor Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. SARC-CCT is coordinated by the Centre for Combating Tobacco(CCT), the tobacco industry observatory in Sri Lanka with a mandate to monitor Tobacco Industry Interference (TII) and implementation of the Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in the South Asian Region. International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) generously funds this project. Representatives from organisations engaged in tobacco control and tobacco industry monitoring from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan partnered with CCT in Sri Lanka to form the SARC-CCT Committee, generating a virtual network for tobacco industry monitoring in the region.

In parallel to the inauguration, a three-day capacity building workshop was held for the country focal points, who later became members of SARC-CCT Committee, at the Amora Lagoon Hotel, Katunayake, with the technical assistance of WHO-FCTC Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3, the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) -University of Bath, UK, Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education – University of California San Francisco, the Brazilian and South African Tobacco Observatories and The Union.WHO FCTC Secretariat also extended their generous support.

SARC-CCT Technical advisory panel (SARC-CCTTAP) was later formed, comprising the tobacco control experts from all around the world,to guide and strengthen the SARC-CCT.

As the SARC-CCT consolidated, the next phase, SARC-CCT Fellowship programme, commenced. The main objectives of the SARC-CCT Fellowship programme were to support SARC-CCT Committee Members to develop tobacco industry monitoring capacity in their relevant countries, to initiate a common information compilation and dissemination process on tobacco industry interference in the South Asian region and to improve networking among individuals interested in tobacco industry monitoring and tobacco control in South Asian countries.

Stage I of the SARC-CCT Fellowship was mainly a series of capacity building webinars, while stage II was a training held  in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 10th to 21st February 2020 with the participation of fellows nominated from all eight South Asian Countries.

The official information portal of the SARC-CCT, TobaccoUnmasked South Asia (TU SouthAsia/ website was ceremonially launched by the Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, in the presence of distinguished guests on 20th February 2020 during the stage II of the Fellowship. The information for TU SouthAsia was generated by SARC-CCT Fellows in the stage II and III of the Fellowship with the technical supervision of SARC-CCT Committee members.

During the latter half of the first year of SARC-CCT, a series of webinars to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day2020 was held.

Success of the SARC-CCT achieved so far is mainly due to the distinctive roles played by all the SARC-CCT family members. The CCT team takes this opportunity to express their sincere gratitude for all the relevant actors of SARC-CCT.

From July 2019, during a period of just one year, SARC-CCT has made an incredible journey, with so many years ahead to extend that journey into the future. We hope that the valuable contribution of the SARC-CCT family will continue into these years ahead.



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