The Gulf Committee for Tobacco Control, derived from the GCC Health Council, convened today (Wednesday) its first meeting at the City Seasons Hotel Muscat.
The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Health (MOH) is hosting the two-day first meeting of the Gulf Committee for Tobacco Control.
The Committee met today with the presence of H.E. Dr. Mohammed bin Saif Al-Hosni, MOH Undersecretary for Health Affairs and H.E. Sulaiman Al-Dakheel, General Manager of the Gulf Health Council for Cooperation Council States along with Dr. Said bin Harib Al-Lamki, Director General of Primary Healthcare and Member of the Executive Body of the Health Council.
On his speech, Dr. Al-Lamki pointed out that theGulf Health Council has adhered to make all the necessary measures to protect that nation from this scourge. He added that the GCC states adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) and worked hard to implement its articles in reality.
The Director General of Primary Healthcare also stated "It is important that the GCC countries adopt a national and gulf epidemiological surveillance system for tobacco use to monitor the relevant social, economic and health indicators, promote the health, social and economic researches in this field, as well as implementing the national and gulf strategies and plans for tobacco control".
Dr. Mohammed Al-Hosni,MOH Undersecretary for Health Affairs and Chairman of National Committee for Tobacco Control praised the efforts exerted by the GCC states for tobacco control and for the proper measures that have been taken in the same regard such as raising tariffs, health education, boycotting tobacco companies, setting up national committees for tobacco control and others.
The MOH Undersecretary for Health Affairs also added that theGulf Committee for Tobacco Control ensures to exert more efforts to reduce the tobacco demand, implement the WHO guidelines, adherence to theWHO-FCTC, as well as prevent tobacco trading in the GCC states.
The meeting reviewed number of achievements made by theGulf Committee for Tobacco Control including raising taxes on tobacco products since 1980s, which culminated recently in developing the Unified Value Added Tax Agreement to raise the minimum price of all tobacco products by 100%, raise the tobacco tariffs from 100% to 150%, and ratification of the WHO-FCTC by all the GCC states.