MOH News
Secretary of the Saudi Anti-Smoking Society Thanks the Minister of Health
11 June 2012
   The Secretary-General of the Saudi Anti-Smoking Society (Purity), Mr. Solaiman bin Abdulrahman Al-Sabi, has expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation for His Excellency the Minister of Health, and Chairman of the National Anti-Smoking Committee, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, for his great efforts which triggered the issuance of the decision taken by His Royal Highness the Minister of Rural and Municipal Affairs, stipulating banning selling tobacco products at all markets and mall for people under eighteen years old.
 
Mr. Al-Sabi was quoted as saying, “It goes without saying that this strategic resolution is completely concordant with the Wise Leadership's attitude towards anti-smoking, and compliant with the provisions of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Smoking, signed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It also meets the desires and aspirations of the society and parents who have been always complaining of selling tobacco products at supermarkets to children and teenagers.”
 
It should be noted, in this regard, that the National Anti-Smoking Committee, under the chairmanship of His Excellency the Minister of Health, has come up, at the end of its third meeting, with certain recommendations meant to prevent the promotion of tobacco products. The most effective of these recommendations was the Committee's request submitted to the Leadership to issue a resolution to ban smoking at public places, as well as contacting the Ministry of Rural and Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to issue certain regulations to ban selling tobacco products for children and teenagers. That's to be added to calling upon all competent authorities to enact the rules and regulations approved by the GCC Council of Health Ministers at the 70th meeting of the Council, in Doha – 2011, which have to do with the promotion of tobacco products. The most significant of these regulations ban the promotion of tobacco products at all supermarkets and malls, and allowing no one to sell these products except for those authorized to do, with certain fees. The above-mentioned regulations stipulate, besides, viewing tobacco products in low-visibility places. That's to be added to banning the use of such deceptive and elusive promotional descriptions as “low tar”, “light”, “nice”, etc. The regulations stipulated, also, banning tobacco online trade, and banning publicity and promotion by way of “extensive use of the trademark”, or “joint trademark”; in addition to banning the appearance of tobacco products in entertainment media. The regulations underscore, also, the importance on anti-smoking programs, especially those presented on popular mass media. Among the important recommendations, besides, forming a joint committee between the Ministry of Education, represented by the School Health Department, and the Ministry of Health, represented by the Anti-Smoking Program, seeking to prepare an integrated educational anti-smoking program, by using high-tech methods, to raise students' awareness of the harms and hazards brought about by tobacco smoking, as well as studying and reviewing the project of the Protection of Underage People against Tobacco-Smoking, so as to be approved by the National Anti-Smoking Committee later on.
 



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