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Arab Countries Considering Broad Ban on Smoking

Arab Countries Considering Broad Ban on Smoking

Friday, 2 March, 2018 - 09:45
Arab foreign ministers meet during a regular session to discuss latest developments in Middle Eastern affairs, in Cairo, Egypt September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The Council of Arab Ministers of Health called on Thursday for banning smoking in all its forms in public and closed places, and prohibiting advertising and promotion of tobacco, its products and derivatives.

The council decided to present its resolution to the next Arab summit for adoption, according to the German news agency.

While it is not clear whether the Arab summit could adopt such a ban, but a number of Arab countries have introduced laws banning smoking in public and closed places, but their implementation has differed from state to another.

No accurate statistics are available on the number of smokers in the Arab world, but the World Health Organization (WHO) found in a survey that smoking was increasing in Middle Eastern countries and that smoking shisha has become part of the social customs of many countries in the region.

On a different note, the Council of Health Ministers, at the end of its 49th session at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo under the chairmanship of Jordan, appealed to member states to provide health services, medicine and medical supplies to support the health sector in Yemen in coordination with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Council has also requested the technical secretariat to accelerate the provision of the agreed support to the Somali Ministry of Health, worth $100,000, from the account of the Arab Fund for Health Development, according to the German agency.

The Council called upon the Arab States to support the Federation of Arab Nurses and Midwives to activate its role and promote the nursing sectors in the Arab world.

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