In a meeting on May 31, 2020, the World No Tobacco Day, Dr. Mohammad Reza Masjedi, secretary-general of IATA and Dr. Zeynab Nasiri, general manager of Health Department of Tehran Municipality signed an MoU.
Dr. Masjedi after welcoming the guests and appreciating the close collaborations of them with IATA said: we, as those who are engaged with people’s health, should try our best to raise public awareness about tobacco harms, and to reduce tobacco consumption through implementing more and better cultural programs.
Secretary-General of IATA explained that every year about 60,000 people die in our country due to diseases caused by tobacco use. He said: in fact, in the last few months that we were dealing with the Coronavirus crisis, about 15,000 people have died from tobacco-related illnesses, which is twice as many as those who died because of Coronavirus; but unfortunately, this issue is not being addressed.
He continued that awareness rising and giving information for this issue should be done properly and the municipality can play an essential role and provide the ground for making a public demand.
Dr. Nasiri mentioned the media capacities and especially the virtual spaces for informing the public and said: health department of Tehran municipality is ready to cooperate in IATA’s plans for promoting public health and developing tobacco-free city.
General Manager of the Health Department of Tehran Municipality said that we need to apply all the available capacities to inform the public about tobacco harms in the face of coronavirus crisis. She emphasized that tobacco is more dangerous to public health than coronavirus, but less attention is paid to it.
In the end, she expressed her hope that with the signing of this MoU, the necessary cooperation process in this field will be facilitated and accelerated more than before.