People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) members recently held the first regional conference about smoking cessation in Jordan.
The conference is the first of its kind in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) region, and addressed guidelines to Article 14 (cessation) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which were adopted during last year’s fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4) in Uruguay.
Health professionals and representatives from non-government and government organisations in the EMRO region attended to learn more about tobacco dependence treatment (TDT), and how to implement Article 14 in their countries.
FCA’s EMRO Regional Co-ordinator Dr Hani Algouhmani said the conference was a success because participants came from different health-related areas but all shared the same aim of treating tobacco dependence.
Some of the agreements to arise from the conference were to:
• Establish more TDT clinics throughout the region;
• Raise tobacco taxes and use funds for FCTC implementation;
• Also use funds from tobacco taxation and customs costs to provide free treatment in public clinics while also subsidising private treatment;
• Ensure strict FCTC implementation;
• Promote TDT clinics and generate a tool that contains contact information, like a phone book;.
• Include TDT education and tobacco control training at universities;.
• Produce regional guidelines and treatment algorithms that accommodate different patient groups;
• List TDT medication on basic drug lists, and ensure coverage through health insurance;.
• Conduct situational analysis of the EMRO region – particularly focusing on tobacco’s economic burden;.
• Include smoking and tobacco use in all non-communicable diseases (NCDs) communication programmes.
• Allow citizens (as well as public servants) to monitor enforcement of the smoking ban in public places (particularly in Jordan);.
• Ensure proper enforcement mechanisms for a smoking ban;
• Share all training programme and workshop information with all primary healthcare professionals; and
• Sensitise the public and create awareness among non-smokers of their right to smoke-free air.
Global Bridges, King Hussain Cancer Control Center and the Syrian Center for tobacco studies held the conference in Amman, Jordan during 27-30 June.