Masoumeh Aghapoor Alishahi, a member of The Iranian Parliament Committee on Economic, stated that the high prevalence of tobacco consumption and especially hookah (shisha, nargile, waterpipe) between women, particularly young women and in the last five years, is like a time bomb that could explode any time and affect their health; a terrible explosion that will influence future generations. For getting out of this situation, we should resolve this problem from its roots and besides public collaboration, all the organizations and NGOs should help.
She said that increasing the price of tobacco is one of the levers for decreasing the tobacco consumption but at the same time, social, economic, and cultural problems of the young generation should be taken care of too; the first step is to perform a social pathology and then with a complete assessment of country’s infrastructures, create joyful and amusement entertainments for the youth and young generations so they could replace them with smoking cigarette and hookah.
She explained that a certain figure is decided for the value-added tax for the cigarette, and she was hopeful that under the comprehensive law on tobacco control, this plan will be fulfilled. Although she believed that increasing the price of domestically produced cigarettes will lead to increasing in cigarette smuggling, and we will need better surveillance to prevent that.
She mentioned that it’s necessary to talk with youth and young generations about tobacco consumption for finding the roots of this issue and it’s not possible with a short term or medium-term plan, we need to develop a long term plan and then with the mobilizing all the capacities, we can reach to the desired condition.
She also said that based on the informal statistics, tobacco consumption in vulnerable and low-income groups are five times more than middle and upper classes of the society, and it indicates the social and cultural roots of this problem; we need to focus more on the vulnerable groups in order to have a healthy and moving generation in future.