Building on Australia's landmark decision to dismiss the tobacco industry's legal claim against the country’s new restrictive tobacco marketing laws, Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, urged all governments in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to pursue and adopt stronger, stricter measures to control tobacco use and to be fearless of the tobacco industry and other vested interests.
Commending the verdict as a real victory for the tobacco control movement and public health, Dr Alwan reiterated that, “This verdict gives hope and motivation to all other countries around the world to scale up their fight against tobacco use”.
The tobacco epidemic is growing in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and there is a pressing need for all countries to undertake the maximum measures to control tobacco.
“While we continue to debate textual warnings, other countries are taking concrete steps to implement plain packaging. While we continue to face challenges declaring indoor spaces smoke-free, other countries are declaring public parks smoke-free. Our Region deserves the best and it will indeed get it." Dr Alwan said.