Tunisia, 1st Arab country in matters of prevalence of smoking among men | Tunisia News Gazette

Tunisia, 1st Arab country in matters of prevalence of smoking among men

Tunisia is in the lead of Arab countries in matters of the prevalence of smoking among men, said Tuesday regional co-ordinator of the tobacco control project at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Fatma Alaoua.

The latter who referred to the latest WHO report on tobacco use in the world, spoke at a workshop held at the Health Ministry headquarters in Tunis, devoted to devising a tobacco control strategy.

She added that the rate of male smokers in Tunisia is estimated at 50%, a rate she called “very high” in the MENA region.

She cautioned against this rate, which is likely to increase over the next decade, calling in this regard for the need to implement tobacco control policies to achieve the expected goals.

According to Habib Ghedira, an associate professor in allergology responsible for implementing this joint strategy between the ministry and WHO, the number of smokers has not declined inspite of the ministry’s efforts.

“The rate of smoking in men is estimated at 40% while it is 5% in women,” he added.

“The prevalence of smoking remains very high among students (20%). That is why a national participatory tobacco control strategy has been devised,” he specified.

Ghedira pointed out that this strategy mainly seeks to detoxify public spaces including ministries, hospitals and schools. The aim is, according to him, is to guarantee the nonsmoker the right to a smoke-free area.

Health Minister Samira Merai announced that a new draft law on tobacco control will be proposed at a Cabinet meeting in the coming days.

This draft law, she said, will be in line with the new international guidelines, adding that it will notably provides for banning smoking in public spaces and limit tobacco advertising.

Source: TAP News Agency

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