” [It’s] a first step towards the application of public health law to fight the scourge of smoking in our dear Jordan, “said in a tweet princess Dina Mired, president of the Union for the international fight against cancer and member of the country’s royal family. “We hope that the smoke prevention law will be enforced in all public places in its entirety.”
“Today’s announcement is a huge change,” said activist group Tobacco Free Jordan, Larissa Al-Uar. “We are happy, but we must see strong law enforcement. Without it, it will be a disaster. ”
She said previous efforts to curb record smoking rates in the country had suffered from weak law enforcement as well as from what health advocates claimed to be widespread policy interference by multinationals. tobacco.
A Guardian investigation found that tobacco company lobbyists were regularly invited to participate in meetings to discuss the regulation of their products, which activists claimed to be inappropriate interference in policy making.
He also found that the big tobacco had been publicly praised for paying to renovate schools, providing students with school bags and equipment, and organizing career development sessions for young people – which anti-tobacco activists characterized as attempt to promote their image.
Tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco, said their involvement in regulatory debates was appropriate and legal, and that their charitable donations were motivated by a commitment to the community.
Smoking will still be allowed in the outdoor areas of hotels, cafes and restaurants under the new regulations. In media interviews over the past week, activists have urged government to focus on enforcing existing smoking bans in a country where smoking is linked to one in five deaths, up from one in ten in the world.
Jordanians who smoke daily consume an average of 23 cigarettes per day, according to the 2019 National / WHO survey.
In its announcement on Wednesday, the Jordanian government cited studies showing that smokers and those who smoke second-hand smoke are more likely to be injured if they catch a coronavirus, a link that Al-Uar hoped would encourage. reassessment of smoking among legislators and the public. . “We hope that the connection between smoking and Covid-19 will have a positive effect,” she said.
Despite bordering several countries with major coronavirus outbreaks, the Jordanian government has overseen one of the most successful Covid-19 responses in the world, declaring earlier this week that the kingdom has effectively ended community transmission virus, and that public curfews and blockages would be removed.