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The inspection and surveillance system for tobacco control has weaknesses

In the second national conference of Iranian Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, a member of Iranian Parliament Commission on Health mentioning that till now we didn’t have any success in prevention, said: for years, we have lots of meetings and programs for running many laws in the parliament but there isn’t any progress in implementing the laws. It’s while the USA has boycotted our access to medicine and medical equipment, but cigarette and tobacco are still available.

Hosseinali Shahriari then stated that for sure there is a cigarette mafia in the country and unfortunately some of the authorities, informed or uninformed, are involved in preventing implementing laws. He added: unfortunately some of the decisions and interferences are leading to several types of cancer. The inspection and surveillance system of country undoubtedly had a problem that as a result, the law about smoking didn’t implement correctly.

The representative of people of Zahedan stated that: from here, I’m asking Hujjat-al-Islam Raeisi, head of the judiciary, to investigate this. It’s obvious that teahouses are public places and in the comprehensive law for controlling and fighting against tobacco, passed in the year of 2006, it said that smoking is forbidden in public places, but why some people are trying to convert hookah places to private places.

Shahriari added: in the past couple of years, we are trying to cancel the bill for excluding the teahouses from public places in the parliament. But some people are insistent in privatizing the teahouses, really why? We are hopeful that the great job the head of judiciary started, reach to a conclusion. It’s necessary to enter the tobacco mafia and find out which people are involved in it.

We must feel responsible and consider it as a religious duty

He also said that we can provide a large portion of financial resources of the country annually from taxation on tobacco: unfortunately, many of the authorities and government officials are benefiting from global arrogance, and as a result, we passed a law on taxation the tobacco but it didn’t implement. The government and the tax organization are saying that we cannot enforce it. The result is that tobacco is free and every year thousands of billion Tomans are getting spent on people who use tobacco. Nowadays, we can see that tobacco use not only didn’t decrease but also getting increased day by day.

Member of Parliament Commission on Health emphasizing that those who are the role model for the people, shouldn’t smoke easily in public, continued: We must feel responsible and consider it as a religious duty. Our maraji and religious figures clearly take a stand about tobacco as a harmful substance. Also, the education system and universities should act more seriously. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting as the center for information and awareness-raising, should also work together with other sectors. We have to work together for solving this problem and it’s impossible to solve it with a meeting and a conference.

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