Strengthening tobacco control in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Global Bridges is participating this week in an important international workshop, ‘Toward Strengthening Tobacco Dependence Treatment in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,’ being held in Amman, Jordan. Global Bridges is a co-sponsor of the Workshop, with the American Cancer Society, the King Hussein Cancer Center, the Jordanian Ministry of Health, WHO-Geneva, and WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.

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Thomas Glynn, Ph.D., Director, Cancer Science and Trends and Director, International Cancer of the American Cancer Society will be addressing the Workshop on a variety of issues, including cancer control advocacy, e-cigarettes, youth and young adult tobacco use, and combating the tobacco industry.

The goal of the workshop is twofold. First, to complete the development of a national tobacco dependence treatment guideline for Jordan, in keeping with its obligations as a signatory of the U.N. treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and to serve as a model for use by other countries in the region.

And, second, to present the latest scientific data on tobacco control and treatment issues to representatives of more than 20 Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries, in order to provide them with the necessary information to establish or strengthen tobacco control programs in their countries. Tobacco control issues in the EMR are distinguished by exceptionally high prevalence rates of traditional cigarette use by males and extensive waterpipe/hookah use by both men and women.

HRH Princess Dina Mired, Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, gave the keynote address at the Workshop. Princess Dina Mired, an international cancer control advocate, emphasized that we know what to do to reduce the terrible toll of tobacco use, but need the political will to take the necessary actions that can prevent the premature deaths of more than one billion people worldwide during this century.

Follow-up to the Workshop will include the formal endorsement of the national tobacco dependence guideline by the Jordanian Ministry of Health, distribution of the guideline to the other countries in the EMR, and follow-up workshops on how to develop a similar guideline in their countries. These workshops will be conducted by the King Hussein Cancer Center, a grantee of Global Bridges and the American Cancer Society.

Co-sponsorship of the EMR Workshop and the grants to the King Hussein Cancer Center represent Global Bridges’ and the American Cancer Society’s continuing commitment to collaboration and support for cancer control and tobacco control with a wide range of global partners.

About the Author: Thomas J. Glynn, Ph.D., is a Global Bridges co-investigator, and is the director of Cancer Science and Trends and the director of the International Cancer Control for the American Cancer Society.