In the meeting of the workgroup on social and cultural affairs and health of women and families in Tehran province, which was held on the subject of health and tobacco and with the introduction of the PAD project (Prevention of Smoking in Schools) in the office of the Tehran governor, the long-term implementation of the PAD project in the country’s schools was considered as one of the ways to reduce smoking among adolescents by the governor of Tehran province.
According to Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association’s (IATA) Public Relations, this meeting was participated by Anooshirvan Mohseni-Bandpey, the Governor of Tehran province, Shokrollah Hassanbeygi, the Political and Social Deputy Governor of Tehran province, Mohammad Seydloo, the Director-General of Education of Tehran Province, Mohammad Reza Masjedi, IATA’s Secretary-General, and various city managers and members of the workgroup, as well as the executive directors of the PAD project. The participants in the meeting discussed the project and the need to implement it in schools across the country. At first, the Governor of Tehran province, while praising IATA’s anti-smoking activities, said, “The approval of the Comprehensive National Tobacco Control Law was one of the achievements of this non-governmental organization. But we should not ignore the increasing annual consumption of tobacco and the economic, cultural, social, and health consequences of this problem in the country.”
According to Mohseni-Bandpey, “The problem of smoking in the country can be curbed by cooperating, following up, and implementing the related laws, as well as implementing projects such as PAD”
In the continuation of the meeting, the Political and Social Deputy Governor of Tehran province, welcoming the implementation of the PAD project in schools, emphasized, “The execution of this project will be effective in the long run to prevent and reduce smoking, especially among students!’
“I call on the members of this workgroup to play an effective role in the development and culture-building and creating a deep sensitivity to prevent the increase in consumption and tendency to tobacco, with the full support of the PAD project. Increasing the tobacco tax is also one of the useful solutions in this regard: Hassanbeyi added.
Tobacco is not just a health problem
In the continuation of the meeting, IATA’s Secretary-General referred to sanctions and their political goals as well as the situation of the tobacco mafia in the country and called tobacco a multi-dimensional threat. According to him, “The problem of tobacco is not only a health problem. Indeed, it inflicts irreparable economic, political, and cultural damage on the country, which must be taken into account at the micro and macro levels.” Masjedi added, “Increase of smoking among women and reduction of the age of smoking in the country are among the cases to be considered. Unfortunately, cigarette and hookah consumption is on the rise among young people and adolescents, as well as women, and tackling this issue requires a concerted effort.”
Introducing the PAD project, he called it a step towards a smoke-free city and said, “This project has been implemented as a pilot in Varamin city. In addition to all 64 high schools, the next phases have been planned in the neighborhood and city levels and its implementation will help to realize a smoke-free community!’
According to Masjedi, if this plan is supported, it can be executed in the whole province of Tehran and finally throughout the country. He added, “With the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, this project includes more than 7,000 students and more than 4,000 interested students also participate in this project as PAD-Helpers for the purpose of peer education. In this way, effective steps have been taken to combat tobacco use among students.”
“With the participation of PAD-Helpers through social and cultural activities, other volunteers who help in the implementation of this project, and the cooperation of city officials, this project can achieve valuable scientific and practical results that can be defended globally:’ Masjedi asserted. In the end, Masjedi called for the material and spiritual support of related institutions and officials for the development of this project so that constructive results can be achieved in the long run.
At the end of the meeting, it was emphasized that informing students through SHAD app by the Ministry of Education, preventing tobacco smuggling into the country, and cooperation and coordination of institutions and non-governmental organizations can be effective in achieving anti-tobacco goals.