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What is Tobacco Free OIC?
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Country News
Global Adult Tobacco Survey shows tobacco use dropping in Turkey

Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) has shown that tobacco use in Turkey dropped to 27.1 % in 2012 from 31.2 % in 2008.


SESRIC Participated in the “Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program”

The Centre (SESRIC) was represented in the “Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program” in Baltimore, Maryland – United States, on 09-20 June 2014 by Mr. Ömercan Kulaklıkaya, Research Assistant. The programme was organised by Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The programme was attended by 109 tobacco control advocates from 25 countries including some OIC member countries, namely Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey and Uganda.


Senegal– New tobacco control law adopted

On 14 March 2014, the National Assembly of Senegal adopted a law “on the manufacturing, packaging and labelling, sale and use of tobacco”.


Abu Dhabi - The First International Meeting on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: Building Evidence for Intervention and Policy

Over the past decade, tobacco smoking using a waterpipe (hookah, narghile, shiha) has become a world-wide epidemic, with current use rates approaching those of cigarettes in many populations. It is particularly prevalent in the Arab world, and marketing efforts have played to the cultural and social aspects of waterpipe use. A nascent but growing evidence base unanimously points to the high potential for deleterious health effects of waterpipe use, including nicotine addiction. At the same time, waterpipe tobacco smoking remains peripheral to tobacco control efforts. The time is now ripe to raise the dialogue on this issue by having an international conference dedicated purely to the waterpipe.


Lebanon Smoking Ban Enters into Force

BEIRUT: A smoking ban in all closed public spaces, including coffee shops, restaurants and bars, went into force in Lebanon on Monday under new legislation that promises hefty fines for lawbreakers.


Joint Needs Assessment in Kyrgyzstan

A needs assessment exercise was conducted jointly by the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the Convention Secretariat from April to July 2012, including an initial analysis of the status, challenges and potential needs deriving from the country’s most recent implementation report and other sources of information. The mission of an international team led by the Convention Secretariat, with the participation of the WHO Country Office in Kyrgyzstan, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Finnish Lung Health Association, took place from 18 to 22 June.


Djibouti Implements Strong Pictorial Health Warning Labels to Meet Public Demand for Information

Due to growing demand for information about the health harms of tobacco, the tobacco control unit within Djibouti’s Ministry of Health faced many challenges, including the high costs of producing informational materials and launching large-scale education and communication efforts. To bring health information directly to the public at the lowest possible cost and align with WHO FCTC requirements, the country chose to implement strong health warning labels on tobacco packaging. With the support of international tobacco control experts and in-country organizations, a variety of warning label images was pre-tested. Ultimately, 11 different labels were selected that feature powerful images intended to raise awareness among smokers of both the health hazards to themselves and the risks of second-hand tobacco smoke exposure to others.


Turkey Increases Free Radio and Television Time for Anti-Tobacco Advertising

Since 1996, Turkey has mandated that radio and television stations provide a minimum of 90 minutes of free air time every month for anti-tobacco educational programming and advertising. However, television channels generally showed these advertisements very early in the morning or late at night, and thus few people were exposed to their anti-tobacco messages. 2003, the head of the Turkish parliamentarian health commission began drafting new tobacco control legislation. A provision was included to mandate broadcasts of anti-tobacco educational programming during daytime and early evening hours (8:00–22:00) so that messaging would reach increased numbers of adults and also be more likely to reach children.


Chittagong City, Bangladesh, Passes a Strong Subnational Advertising Ban

Chittagong City, population 4 million, is Bangladesh’s second largest city. It has an active network of tobacco control advocacy organizations that work closely with local government to advance the tobacco control agenda. In 2010, this advocacy work helped lead the Chittagong City government to enact a ban on all tobacco advertising, including advertising indirectly through surrogates and brand extensions such as lighters featuring cigarette brands. Although there is an existing national ban on tobacco billboard advertising, the law does not explicitly cover indirect advertising, point-of-sale marketing, or other promotional activities, and overall enforcement is suboptimal.


Burkina Faso - Workshop Aims to Boost Tobacco Cessation

In August 2011, the tobacco control directorate of the Ministry of Health organized, for the first time in the country, a workshop on smoking cessation. The workshop represented a major step forward in implementation of the WHO FCTC in the country, in particular of Article 14, Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation, and Article 12(d), which states that each Party shall promote and strengthen public awareness of tobacco control issues, including through “effective and appropriate training or sensitization and awareness programmes on tobacco control addressed to persons such as health workers, community workers, social workers, media professionals, educators, decision-makers, administrators and other concerned persons.”


Comoros - Amended Tobacco Control Act

An amendment of the existing Tobacco Control Act was adopted on 28 March 2011.


Kuwait Implements Pictorial Warnings

The Kuwait government recently implemented pictorial warnings on cigarette boxes sold in the country.


Saudi Arabia Requires Smoke-Free Public Places

The Saudi Arabian government has significantly stepped up the nation’s fight against tobacco use by requiring public places to be smoke-free. The smoke-free policy will apply to government offices, restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and shopping malls in addition to airports, which have been smoke-free since 2011. It even applies to water-pipes, or shisha.


Brunei Boosts Warnings and Non-smoking Areas

Brunei’s Government has announced it will increase the size of health warnings on cigarette packages so that they cover 75 percent of the package area instead of 50 percent. It will also expand the country’s non-smoking areas.


Wanted: Pakistan Charges Philip Morris Executive with Advertising Violations

A Pakistani judge has issued an arrest warrant for the head of marketing for Philip Morris Pakistan Ltd., for the company’s blatant violation of laws that tightly restrict tobacco advertisements. Despite the advertising limits, Philip Morris purchased — and magazines published — full-page, color ads for Marlboro cigarettes in many of Pakistan’s leading magazines throughout November and December.


Turkmenistan – President Approves National Action Plan on Tobacco Control

On 6 January 2012 Turkmenistan adopted, through a Presidential Order, the National Action Plan on Tobacco Control 2012-2016.


Burkina Faso – Decrees Adopted to Ensure Effective implementation of the 2010 Tobacco Control Act

With a view to ensuring the effective implementation of the country’s 2010 tobacco control act, on 30 October 2011 the Council of Ministers of Burkina Faso adopted three decrees on:


Maldives Hikes Tobacco Import Taxes

Maldives increased the import duty on cigarettes by 200 per cent on 1 December. The duty on other tobacco products rose 150 per cent.


Iraq – Comprehensive Tobacco Control Legislation Adopted

On 7 March 2012 the President of Iraq signed a new tobacco-control law with the overarching goals of protecting the public and creating a healthier environment.


Gulf Nations Agree Graphic Warnings for 2012

Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have agreed to put graphic warnings on tobacco packages starting in August 2012. The law to be enforced by the six-nation GCC (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) includes graphic warnings on boxes of tobacco used in hookah pipes and other smoking tools.


Tobacco Advertising to be Monitored and Controlled in Pakistan

Another initiative for tobacco control, Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) monitoring, has been launched by The Network for Consumer Protection to monitor advertising and promotional activities and patronization of different campaigns under the guise of corporate social responsibility by tobacco companies. The Network Executive Coordinator Nadeem Iqbal, while highlighting the significance of the initiative, said tobacco promotion and sponsorship was marginally an unattended subject by regulators in Pakistan. Monitoring of TAPS by The Network is funded by Bloomberg Global Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, implemented by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (TFK) and International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union).


Breathing New Life into Anti-Smoking Campaign - Malaysia

The 'Tak Nak' campaign received a new thrust during the recent Ramadan to deter cigarette smoking, the Health Ministry conducted a Nafas Baru (New Breath) campaign during the recent Ramadan.


Lebanon - New Tobacco-Control Law Adopted

On 17 August 2011, the Lebanese Parliament adopted a new tobacco-control act. The most important provisions of the act include: a complete ban on smoking in all closed public places such as restaurants, cafes and public transport; a ban on tobacco companies from conducting any kind of advertising or sponsorship campaigns; and a warning that covers 40% of cigarette packs. Fines for non-compliance with the new smoke-free regulations will be applied to both the owners and the smokers themselves. The law gives owners of hospitality establishments one year to prepare for the upcoming ban on smoking in closed spaces. More than 3500 Lebanese die each year from tobacco-related diseases.


Anti-Smoking Drive - Saudi Arabia

There are press reports that 1002 lawbreakers have been caught and fined at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport so far after the ban on smoking came into effect. That is really great news. Smoking is a real threat not only to the smokers but those who are around them. It is true that in some countries tobacco industry generates revenue to the government but this is nothing when compared to the costs of smoke-borne diseases. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest consumers of tobacco in the world. In this country the government and other organizations and volunteers (including expatriates) have to join hands to launch a campaign to make the people aware of the hazards of smoking.


First Private-Run Tobacco Addiction Clinic Opens in Jeddah

As part of Saudi Arabia's ongoing efforts to combat smoking, Dr. Mazen Fakeeh, director general of Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, opened Wednesday the first private clinic for people seeking help in kicking the nasty tobacco habit. Officials, health care professionals, medical staff and specialists were among those present at the opening.


Building Capacity, Redressing Neglect' on Harm Reduction

The 22nd International Harm Reduction Conference took place in Beirut, Lebanon, during April 3-7, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where it faces diverse and rapidly changing patterns of drug, tobacco and alcohol use. Despite the fact that harm reduction has been adopted in policy and practice in more countries than ever before, significant gaps remain in the response. Also lack of coverage on harm reduction programs and the capacity of civil society to respond to harm reduction issues remain low in much of the world, therefore, 'Building capacity, redressing neglect' was made the theme of this annual international conference.


Ministry of Health Thanks Türk Telekom for 'Smoking Cessation Polyclinic' - Turkey

A thank-you plaque was given to Türk Telekom within the scope of activities for the Cancer Week in honor of the “Smoking Cessation Polyclinics” that have been founded for its over 25,000 employees. Türk Telekom CEO K. Gökhan Bozkurt received the plaque offered within the scope of the Cancer Week, organized in cooperation of the Ministry of Health Department of Fight with Cancer, Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) and the National Cancer Advisory Board of Turkey, from Health Minister Recep Akdağ. Turkey’s leading communication and convergence technologies company Türk Telekom was given a thank-you plaque within the scope of the Cancer Week activities, organized in cooperation of the Ministry of Health Department of Fight with Cancer, Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) and the National Cancer Advisory Board of Turkey. Türk Telekom CEO K. Gökhan Bozkurt received the plaque from Health Minister Recep Akdağ during the activities on 3-4 April 2011 in Ankara.


Don’t be ‘Blind’ to Smoking Dangers - Saudi Arabia

The number of smokers in Saudi Arabia has amplified to a big sum of six million, of which 600,000 are women. There are also 772,000 teenage smokers, including students. Many smokers may be unaware of this phenomenon but it is true: smoking causes blindness. The generic form of blindness caused by smoking is "age-related macular degeneration." Smoking is also a cause of cataract, amongst many other life-threatening diseases. Every 6.5 seconds, a current or former smoker dies, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Saudi Arabia, 22,000 Saudis die of smoking related diseases every year, according to the Anti-Smoking Society.


WHO Assistance to Intensify Campaign Against Smoking - Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will seek the expertise of the World Health Organization (WHO) to intensify its anti-smoking campaign, head of the Health Ministry’s anti-smoking initiative Majid Al-Muneef announced here at the Second Executive Committee Meeting of the National Commission on Tobacco that concluded last week in the capital. The meeting was inaugurated by Ziad Al-Memish, deputy minister of health for preventive medicine, who made the opening remarks at the meeting presided over by Al-Muneef.


Mecca and Medina, Tobacco-Free Cities

The Saudi Ministry of Health has intensified its campaign to make Mecca and Medina tobacco-free cities while Hajj pilgrims are flocking to the holy sites from worldwide. In this frame, Dr. Sameer Al-Sabban, the executive director of the Anti-Smoking Campaign in Mecca, said that they “require the cooperation of pilgrims to make the two holy cities among those with the lowest tobacco consumption in the world”.


16th Asian Games to be Tobacco-free

The 16th Asian Games, part of the worldwide Olympic movement and governed by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), will be “going smokeless” with firm prohibitions on the sale of tobacco products and tobacco sponsorship of the Games.


Pakistan to Require Graphic Health Warnings on 40% of Front and Back of Cigarette Package

As of February 1, 2010, Pakistan will take a significant step in reducing the toll of tobacco use by requiring that all cigarette packages and labels contain graphic health warnings that cover 40 percent of the front and back of the packages and labels.


Push for a Smoke-free Hajj Pilgrimage - Saudi Arabia

It is not only in the bars of New York or bistros of Paris where smokers are being pushed to the sidelines and asked to step outside to light that cigarette. Now, Saudi Arabia's health ministry is launching a public campaign to make the holy cities of Mecca and Medina smoke-free during this year’s pilgrimage season.


Jordan Committed to Implementation of Tobacco Control Treaty

Jordan is committed to the implementation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), Minister of Health Nayef Fayez said, noting that it was the second country in the region to endorse it.


Nigeria Considers Tough Tobacco Control Legislation

The Nigerian parliament is debating sweeping new tobacco control legislation in a bid to break the growing tobacco addiction in the country. The bill has strong backing from anti-tobacco groups and health organisations. If passed, this could be the biggest tobacco crackdown in the history of Nigeria.


Turkey Goes Smoke-Free with Indoor Smoking Ban

Turkey went smoke-free Sunday as the government introduced a ban in cafes and restaurants in hopes of breaking the national addiction to nicotine despite the protests of business owners.


Libya Bans Smoking in Public Places

The Libyan government announced that it is to ban smoking in public places, and the media advertising of all tobacco products. The decision announced by the Libyan cabinet also prohibits selling cigarettes to any person less than 18 years old.


Uganda: Tough Anti-Tobacco Law in Offing

The Government in Uganda is preparing a tougher law which requires dealers in tobacco products to have licences within a year from the date of commencement. It will also halt all advertising of tobacco in the media, and its sale in small quantities. The regulation will also stop the sale and smoking of tobacco in public places.


Niger Cabinet Passes Smoking Ban

Niger's government has issued a decree enforcing a ban on smoking in public places and on communal transport. The law provides for fines ranging from 5,000 CFA ($11, £6) to 1,000,000 CFA ($2,170, £1,240), as well as prison terms for those who violate the ban. Shops and services that breach the ban can also have their licenses removed. The ban covers public transport and taxis, but not private vehicles. The government is planning a media campaign to inform people about the new measure. Niger's parliament passed the smoking ban in 2006, but the cabinet had not issued the decree to make it effective.


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