Times of Oman
Tobacco advertising banned in Oman
April 10, 2016 | 10:27 PM
by Hasan Shaban Al Lawati/hassan@timesofoman.com
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Latest: Health experts in Oman hail ban on tobacco ads

Muscat:
Advertising for tobacco products now stands banned in Oman, according to a new law passed by the Ministry of Information.

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All radio stations, TV channels, newspapers and online publishing houses in the Sultanate are now prohibited from advertising any form of tobacco products.



The circular, issued on April 5, 2016, was released as per the press and publications law issued by the Royal Decree No.49/84 and the Royal Decree No.20/2005 on agreeing to join the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

An official at the Ministry of Information told the Times of Oman that this decision is a part of the national campaign to curb the negative physical and mental effects of tobacco on smokers.

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“More government authorities are taking part in this national campaign,” the source revealed.

Of those diagnosed with lung cancer, 97 per cent turn out to be smokers.

Lung cancer is expected to become the most common type of cancer in Oman in the next five years, said Dr. Basim Al Bahrani, director of oncology and head of medical oncology at the Royal Hospital.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH), the monthly cost of cancer treatment in Oman's government hospitals can reach up to OMR30,000 per year per patient.

The latest statistics of the National Oncology Centre showed that number of visits in the outpatient clinics reached 19,103 in 2015, recording a 10 per cent rise compared to 2014.

In Oman, there are 600 cancer patients for each one million population and the number is expected to increase in the coming years due to several factors, including wrong food habits, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption.

To curb the spread of tobacco addiction, the Public Authority for Consumer Protection has also banned electronic cigarettes and electronic shisha (hookah).

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