On August 17, 2011, the Lebanese Parliament passed the new tobacco control law number 174. This law officially makes Lebanon a 100% smoke-free country; it also comprehensively bans tobacco product advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and it establishes health warnings covering 40% of both fronts of the pack. In addition, it promotes joint participation among Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior, municipalities and civil society for an effective implementation.
The National Tobacco Control Program at the Ministry of Public Health together with the head of the Parliamentarian Health Committee and Consumers Lebanon, have worked hard and under challenging political and other circumstances since 2004 to arrive at this point, and we acknowledge and thank The Union, who through the Bloomberg Initiative grant have continuously supported our activities in rephrasing, advocating and passing the policy. We also recognize the support we received from Tobacco Free Kids (TFK), World Lung Foundation (WLF) and Azm & Saada Association for their contributions in media advocacy, communication and social mobilization to pass the law. We would especially like to thank the chair of WHO TobReg, AUB Tobacco Control Research Group and all other members of civil society for their continuous support.
A long road ahead to achieve effective implementation awaits us. We work with an approach to learn from the best practices in the world and would like to ask all concerned partners to collaborate with the National Tobacco Control Program to sustain monitoring and achieve effective implementation.
The previous partial law passed in 1996 was very weakly implemented; it is necessary to prevent the tobacco industry and its allies from once again standing in the way of effective implementation. This can best be done by strengthening civil society’s active role for continuous advocacy and to demand accountability and compliance with new tobacco control policy.
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All concerned authorities are encouraged to visit the "Guidelines for Implementation" section on our website.