In the meeting of the board of trustees of IATA, Hujjat-al-Islam Moein Shirazi, the chairman of the board acknowledged the activities and projects of IATA as valuable works that need to be assessed during the year for finding the strengths and weaknesses and improve for the next years. He said that unfortunately smoking and especially hookah, is considered normal in youth and teenager groups, and the uncontrolled emersion of hookah houses shouldn’t be neglected; parliamentarians must speak about the illegal bill for excluding teahouses from public places while they don’t have any attention to the health of young generations.
He admired the positive change that there is no longer hookah smoking in Muharram mourning ceremonies and he considered it as a result of awareness-raising in public.
He stated that smoking is forbidden in government offices and many other public places, but when it comes to hookah, we want to act against the law. It shows that there is a huge profit in this industry that pushes some people to accept its profit over the long term cost. In the end, all these decisions can affect our younger generations.
He said that Iran is a member of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and committed to reducing smoking by 2020 and should publish its report at the international level. So it’s necessary to employ all the capacities like Friday prayers’ tribunes, religious missionaries, and other sectors; as the national week for the fight against smoking is not enough.
He said that IATA needs full support of all related organizations and sectors, for example, the PAD program is running in all the schools of Varamin but unfortunately the ministry of education does not collaborate for nationwide implementation of this program and we cannot enjoy the valuable outcomes of it in all the schools all over the country. He stated that our next problem is with the organization of broadcasting as they do not allocate the necessary time for the programs which contribute to awareness-raising for the public audience.
He expressed his suspicion and said that why Iranian people are sanctioned in the car industry, medical equipment, aircraft parts, but the tobacco industry is exempt from sanctions and some American and European tobacco manufactures freely established cigarette companies in Iran. It’s a human right for everyone to be healthy, and the sanctions which targeted people’s health are unfair and immoral.