On 3 January 2017, Oman banned advertisements at the points of sale, including in supermarkets and shops. Dr Jawad Al Lawati, senior consultant and rapporteur for the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Ministry of Health said that several shops have already begun the process of removing tobacco products from shelves to decrease its visibility. Dr Lawati also noted that 40 to 60 per cent of deaths in Oman are due to non-communicable diseases, of which tobacco use is one of the risk factors.
In 2016, Oman banned the advertising of tobacco products on radio, television, newspapers and online publishing houses. Under which this was in-line with the two Royal Decrees (No.49/84 and No.20/2005) that Oman had initially agreed under to join the WHO FCTC.
A publication in the Oman Medical Journal revealed that tobacco use in Oman is projected to increase 33.3% by 2025. The publication documents Oman’s experience in tobacco control, including its need to accelerate action in adopting WHO FCTC measures.
This ban on advertisement will help raise awareness and reduce the burden of disease caused by tobacco use. Many health experts continue to welcome this recent ban and congratulate Oman’s step towards strengthening their implementation of the WHO FCTC.
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National focal point: Dr Jawad Al-Lawati, senior consultant, Ministry of Health, Oman; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org