Iran starts five-year tobacco-free national plan

September 20, 2020 - 18:19

TEHRAN –A national plan aiming to protect people from secondhand smoke in 63 cities and 63 villages over the course of five years has just piloted in the central city of Qom.

Following Article 8 of the Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organization to protect people from tobacco use and reduce its side effects, Iran declared Qom city as the country's first “tobacco-free city”.

This five-year program will eventually launch in 63 cities and 63 selected villages of the country, however, it is probably can cover the whole cities, Behzad Valizadeh, head of the National Secretariat of Tobacco Control said.

A tobacco-free city is a place in which the sale, supply, and use of tobacco are regulated in such a way that people are protected from secondhand smoke, and direct and indirect incentive mechanisms are restricted, tobacco consumers will be encouraged to quit, he explained.

Overall, it focuses on both demand and supply reduction strategies, and is expected to gradually reduce the prevalence of smoking in those areas, he added.

In the first phase of this program, which will continue for one year from the beginning of the project, by mobilizing information and joint actions of relevant agencies and organizations, including non-governmental organizations, efforts will be made to meet the requirements defined in this program in the selected village and introduced by the university, he stated.

He went on to note that the medical universities should monitor the implementation in the selected rural town, and evaluate the results.

People's demand for their rights, which is not to be exposed to secondhand smoke, is very important to involve the public in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and medical universities across the country, he concluded.

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