Posted on February 16, 2019

The State of Qatar represented by the Ministry of Public Health participated in the Gulf Committee for Tobacco Control meeting, which concluded in Oman.

The delegation included Advisor to Minister of Public Health, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center Ahmad Al Mulla and Qatar representative in the committee, Head of Non-Communicable Diseases at the ministry Dr Kholood Al Mutawa. Al Mulla said meeting at this time contributes to the consolidation of efforts, exchange of experiences and cooperation between the GCC countries to combat the tobacco epidemic. He said the meeting discussed the preliminary report on the economics of tobacco in the GCC countries. The meeting also discussed intensifying health awareness to control tobacco at the GCC level. The meeting also revised the proposals for updating the Gulf strategic plan for tobacco control.

Dr Kholood Al Mutawa said the State of Qatar and the GCC continue to work to reach their objectives of stopping the use of tobacco which negatively affects all countries. The committee’s meeting came after the State took positive steps by imposing the selective tax on tobacco and its derivatives which was implemented starting January 1, 2019. She said the efforts are continuous to amend the standards by stopping the adding of flavors in tobacco and intensifying health awareness by raising community awareness about the dangers of tobacco to the individual, family and society.

During the meeting Dr Kholood gave a detailed presentation on Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, signed by Qatar in June 2013. As Qatar is the 18th country in the list of country to sign the  protocol, which was adopted in November 2012 in the South Korean capital Seoul by the member states of the World Health Organization. The protocol aims to eliminate all forms of illegal trade in tobacco products and raise the financial revenues to be used in health education. She said that during the meeting they discussed establishing a unified goal for all the GCC countries and work on the issuance of a unified Gulf declaration to reduce tobacco consumption.