On Tuesday September 24th, Mr. Hemayatkhah, sociologist, university professor, and a member of Islamic Parliament Research Center of The Islamic Republic Of IRAN, in a meeting with Dr. Masjedi, secretary general of Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association (IATA), Mr. Shahsavan, head of department of branches, and other IATA’s members, announced his cooperation with goals of the Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association.
At the beginning of this meeting, Mr. Shahsavan after explaining the PAD program and its progress toward research projects said: now, in Varamin, this program spread from the school to the houses and neighborhood, a way to the whole city.
Then, Dr. Masjedi informed about expansion of the PAD program in the whole city and said: in European countries, there is a significant decrease in smoking for people of 25 years old and above, but smoking tobacco product between teenagers of 13 to 15 year old is still a persistent problem that in addition to smoking cigarettes and hookah, spread to the electronic cigarettes too.
Chairman of IATA stated: unfortunately, age of onset of smoking in Iran decreased to 13 years old, and the contradictions between behavioral patterns in house, school, and western media and virtual spaces, made serious problems for youth and teenagers, and through this program, we are looking for fixing this problem in schools.
He continued: England is one of the countries which started the first and most comprehensive researches about harms of smoking since 1950, and their first released statistics was about investigating the occurrence of death caused by smoking in physicians. This country is determined to significantly decrease the smoking by 2020 and reduce it to zero by 2025, and different economic, educational, industrial, and other sections are working together to attain this goal.
Dr. Masjedi said: unfortunately in Iran, despite the awareness of people and also authorities about the harmful effects of smoking, we haven’t reached this belief that we must eradicate smoking in our country. Ministry of Education is completely informed of the PAD program and they must cooperate to spread this program to all schools in the country.
Impact of NGOs in reducing tobacco use
Mr. Hemayatkhah with a mention to the very positive impact of civic participation in reducing tobacco use said: until we cannot establish institutional engagement at a macro level in the country, we cannot achieve any significant success not only in this domain but also in other domains and social harms like child labor.
He continued: unfortunately, hookah is used as a recreation in Iranian families and it’s very alarming as our children consider it as normal.
Then, he announced his supports for IATA’s requests for conducting researches in the field of sociology, obtaining supports of parliamentarians for the PAD program and provision of funds for it, and he declared his readiness for full collaborations in all required fields.