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Tobacco Control Strategies
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Tobacco Control Strategies

Six strategies to fight smoking are under review by the health ministry; one of them is raising cigarette prices through increased taxes, which is an effective population-based strategy for discouraging smoking, says Dr. Ali Akbar Sayyari, deputy health minister.
Several other strategies have been shown to reduce tobacco use: monitoring its use and prevention policies; protecting people from tobacco smoke through creation of non-smoking zones; offering help through educative programs to quit tobacco use; warning about the dangers of smoking and enforcing ban on cigarettes and tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and raising taxes on tobacco are some of the ministry’s policies to reduce tobacco use and to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people.  
So far the Committee for Tobacco Control has held five meetings to work on the anti-tobacco strategies; the last meeting was held on October 27.

 Lax Supervision
At present there is a law which bans smoking in public places, but its supervision should be improved, reports IRNA.
Sayyari said health warning pictures on cigarette packets is an important strategy; however, the position, size and general strength of the warnings can have different influences on people’s minds.
The printed warning pictures should change every 6 months or annually; therefore at present the ministry is evaluating new pictures to choose the most influential ones to be printed on cigarette packs, he said.
According to the latest statistics by the health ministry, there are 7.3 million cigarette smokers in the country and many children younger than 5 years suffer from second-hand smoke.

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