Tobacco Free Initiative

Get ready for plain packaging

Image shows a plain tobacco package, and the elements that make up such a package. WHO recommends plain packaging as the next step for many countries in the Region

Tobacco packaging is a mobile billboard promoting consumption of tobacco products. Tobacco packaging makes products more attractive, advertises and promotes tobacco consumption, distracts from health warnings and deceives people into thinking that some products are less harmful than others.

If you strip back the decoration, gloss and misleading elements of tobacco packaging, you are left with little more than a box of deadly and addictive products that kills approximately 6 million people a year and harms the health of many more. Plain packaging helps reveal the grim reality of tobacco products.

Learn more

Read the press release


Advisory note on waterpipe tobacco smoking: second edition

Waterpipe tobacco smoking (shisha) is increasing globally, and is especially prevalent in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Young people are particularly at risk. Smoking rates can reach 42% among boys and...

» Read the full story
Tobacco scenes in films and TV programmes entice young people to smoke

Children and young people are regularly exposed to scenes in which celebrities, even those known to be non-smokers, are shown unnecessarily smoking or holding unlit cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, giving...

» Read the full story

WHO recommends two tools to reverse an epidemic that kills nearly 6 million people every year worldwide. Tobacco use by men and women in the Eastern Mediterranean Region is...

» Read the full story

In focus

Countries prepare for the Conference of the Parties

28 September 2016 – In preparation for the7th session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, countries of the Eastern Mediterranean convened to...

» Read the full story


Qatar releases key findings from the first Global Adult Tobacco Survey

27 November 2013 – Qatar released its fact sheet from the first Global Adult Tobacco Survey in a press conference organized by the Supreme Council of Health. The Global Adult...

» Read the full story
Regional workshop on tobacco control and trade

From 19 to 21 March 2013, the first regional workshop that tackles the issue of trade in relation to tobacco control is being held jointly with WHO headquarters. This workshop...

» Read the full story

  • Tobacco-free public spaces

Tobacco-free public places means that ALL indoor workplaces and indoor public places should be 100% smoke-free.

Read more

Statistics and figures

By 2030 70% of tobacco-related deaths will be in developing countries

Tobacco use in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Call for papers