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WHO hails Oman for plain packaging of tobacco goods

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The World Health Organization (WHO) hailed the Sultanate of Oman for adopting plain packaging for tobacco products and described it as a very important and key step in the country’s ambition to reach a 30 per cent reduction in tobacco use by 2025. Dr Ahmed bin Salim al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said: “Plain packaging is one of the most successful policies and the most effective public health interventions in reducing the demand for tobacco, as it reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products in the eyes of consumers, especially young people. This is aimed at protecting future generations from the scourge of tobacco.” The Ministry of Health and the National Committee for Tobacco Control, which includes many governmental and private agencies and institutions, are working to reduce smoking in Oman. The Sultanate of Oman will be the second country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region to implement this policy after Saudi Arabia. This step is consistent with Oman’s obligations under the World Health organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) with its various articles, especially Article 11, Article 13, Articles 9 and 10, and Article 16. It should be noted that this policy is now applied in 19 countries around the world, with 3 countries under the implementation phase. Uniform packaging/labelling is defined as actions to restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images, and promotional information on packages other than brand names and product names. These brand names and product names will only be displayed in a standard colour, pattern, and font. Uniform labelling/packaging of tobacco and nicotine products is one of the most successful policies in the field of packaging tobacco packs.

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