On 31 May, WHO and the Ministry of Health of the occupied Palestinian territory held a press conference on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. This year's World No Tobacco Day was exclusively dedicated to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization, which was developed to battle the world's growing tobacco epidemic. The press conference was well attended by numerous representatives from the media, nongovernmental organizations and the Government; and was presided over by a panel who commented on the implications of tobacco use in the country and the integration of the FCTC into Palestinian policy. The Minister of Health, the Director General of Counselling and Special Education from the Ministry of Education and the International Public Health Officer of the WHO country office all participated in the panel while the General Director for primary health care and PH moderated.
In 2009, the Ministry of Health launched a national policy and strategic plan for the prevention and management of noncommunicable diseases. Priority policy objective number one is: "strengthening the enforcement of the existing anti-smoking law and implementation of measures to reduce tobacco use". A working group was established to support the work of an intersectoral committee that will develop a national plan for tobacco control. Supported by the Tobacco Free Initiative, a review of the existing national anti-smoking law will start in July 2011 to align it with the FCTC.