Jordan | Events | World No Tobacco Day 2016 “Get ready for plain packaging”

World No Tobacco Day 2016 “Get ready for plain packaging”

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World No Tobacco Day in JordanPrincess Dina Mired, Director General of the King Hussein Cancer FoundationJordan adopts comprehensive multisectoral approach to tobacco control

Amman, 13 July 2016 – For World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2016, WHO called on countries to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products.

Guidelines to Articles 11 and 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recommend that Parties consider adoption of plain packaging. 

Plain packaging of tobacco products refers to measures that restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style. Policy-makers, civil society and the public can take action to ensure that their governments consider adoption of plain packaging.

Plain packaging builds upon other measures as part of a comprehensive multisectoral approach to Tobacco Control. The World Health Organization in Jordan in collaboration with Ministry of Health and King Hussein Cancer Foundation/Centre marked the World No Tobacco Day this year with a stakeholder’s workshop to discuss Tobacco Control National Strategy Road Map 2016–2018 participated by policy-makers from different Ministries and Institutions, civil society and media to discuss role and responsibilities to fight tobacco use. 

The Ministry of Health has announced plans to increase the size of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets by 50% and add 4 to 6 new images. Dr Malek Habashneh Head of Health Promotion Directorate at Ministry of Health said that “The new warning images focused on the delivery of a message containing information about the health risks of smoking, and be influential on smokers and non-smokers”. Dr Habashneh added that raising the rate to more than 50% of the total area at the top of the pack of cigarettes are in line with the articles of the WHO FCTC.

Plain packaging is an important demand-reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.

Consensus was reached among partners and stakeholders at the meeting on the Road Map for strengthening Tobacco Control in Jordan. Dr Maria Cristina Profili WHO Representative to Jordan, pointed out that around the world plain packaging together with other measures, such as higher taxes, advertising bans, and smoke-free policies has been shown to be an effective public health intervention to reduce the demand for tobacco. “For years, the tobacco industry has made use of the “glamour” of the tobacco package to entice children and young people to use tobacco.” Dr Profili added. 

“In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 38% of men and 4% of women (21% of adults on average) smoke tobacco. Smoking rates among young people are particularly worrying: in some countries as high as 42% among boys and 31% among girls. This includes smoking shisha, which is more popular among young people than cigarettes, and no less dangerous.” Dr Profili asserted.

The Director of Cancer Control Office at the King Hussein Cancer Center, Dr Feras Hwwari pointed out that the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with international and local experts and a number of specialized agencies, had developed a roadmap for the national strategy for tobacco control that includes programmes and action plans for implementation of all relevant authorities for tobacco control and oblige them for implementation. 

Key health-related statistics

Total population in thousands 10 053
Total expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 13.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 58
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 6.9
Life expectancy 74.3

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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