Muscat: The Nizwa Souq could soon be a tobacco-free zone if a proposal under consideration is approved, according to a statement from Ministry of Health.
The proposal was moved at a meeting of the National Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Committee. In Nizwa, establishing a tobacco-free souq was the next big step in tobacco control following its indoor smoking ban a few years ago. One of the oldest souqs in Oman, Nizwa Souq lies in the vicinity of the walls of the famous Fort. Its building embraces both traditional and modern architectural lines.
The NCD Committee held its second meeting of 2019 at the Ministry of Health (MoH) chaired by Dr. Ali bin Talib Al Hinai, MoH Undersecretary for Planning Affairs and Chairperson of the Committee. It discussed the report on the estimated cost of NCD plan, as well as operational activities for its implementation. It also touched upon preparations for organising the first non-communicable diseases forum, which is to be held in December.
In addition, the meeting discussed plans to combat noncommunicable diseases in the working places affiliated to the Ministry of Manpower and the staff and students of various colleges and institutes. It was also proposed that a social media presence was established to spread awareness of the Committee’s activities and NCD. Social media is also to be used to share and highlight the risks posed by electronic cigarettes to both community members and environment.
The Committee appreciated the efforts of the authorities in preventing this type of cigarette entering the Sultanate’s markets to avoid its health risks.