Muscat – The National Committee of Tobacco Control (NCTC), in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, conducted a workshop titled ‘Tobacco Control and Plain Packaging in the Sultanate of Oman’ on Monday.
The workshop was attended by Dr Badria Mohsen al Rashdi, Director General of Primary Health Care, WHO experts and Saudi representatives.
Yasser al Busaidi, a public health specialist at WHO, emphasised the severe global threat posed by tobacco, responsible for over 8mn deaths annually. “Oman stands out as the second country (after Saudi Arabia) in the region adopting plain packaging for tobacco products, a significant step towards curbing tobacco use.”
The workshop focused on a thorough evaluation of Oman’s current status in tobacco control, reviewing recent advancements. It provided a crucial platform for interaction with key decision-makers, ensuring precise and comprehensive briefing on the national situation regarding tobacco use. This interaction facilitated the exchange of valuable insights and successful strategies of various countries.
A dedicated session within the workshop deliberated on the topic of plain packaging. The assembled technical team and NCTC collaborated to chart a clear and effective policy path forward, developing a proactive response plan to anticipated future tactics adopted by the tobacco industry.
Last week, Oman was recognised for its tobacco control efforts when the Ministry of Health received the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs Award.
The award acknowledges Oman’s continuous efforts and commitment to multispectral action for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases by implementing plain packaging for tobacco products on a national level.