MOH News
GCC Ministers of Health Consider Smoking Combating National Cause, says Al-Mane
07 February 2007
The GCC Ministers of Health considered smoking combating a national cause requiring contribution of all community sectors, including decision makers and workers in the different medical educational, cultural and social fields.
The Minister of Health Dr. Hamad A. Al-Mane said the GCC ministers of health in their recent conference held in Kuwait approved the GCC Educational Plan for Combating Smoking and its execution strategy. The conference called the member states to make arrangements for funding the plan, including utilization of the different forms of charity support, especially endowments for health purposes. It also recommended adopting plans for ensuring smoking free health facilities through secure applied and operational programs and policies. Stress also has been made that medical teams must refrain from smoking, thus representing examples to be followed by the rest community. Member states must start carrying out the procedures for the stage following signature of the agreement in order to attain the effective stage of applying the agreement requirements.  
In the same regard the Minister of Health said the conference recommended formulation of an administrative and technical mechanism in each member state in the form of a panel or a committee for following up execution of the agreement. Such a panel or committee may also carry out the task of health awareness against smoking for all members of the community as well as official and private sectors, through organizing courses, workshops, symposia, or through publications. The committee may also activate the role of the ministries of information, finance, commerce, education, as well as the municipalities, for organizing training programs for governmental and non-governmental health personnel.
The conference also recommended the necessity of including the private sector in resisting the smoking industry, a goal which can be attained through encouraging legal actions against tobacco companies and creation of qualified judicial and legal staff. Negotiations with the World Trade Organization must also be carried out for elevating customs duties on narghile to the required 100% level, provided that the local relative regulations in each member state must be observed.  

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