Turkmenistan drafts law on harm of tobacco smoke

Turkmenistan is preparing a law "On protection of citizens' health from exposure of tobacco smoke and consequences of tobacco product consumption", local media reported citing Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov.

Currently, the law is ready for adoption in Turkmenistan's parliament.

The country is carrying out intense work on prevention of non-communicable diseases by implementing the principles of a healthy lifestyle and eliminating risk factors. Thus, an active campaign against smoking tobacco began in 2000.

"We have achieved good results, the number of tobacco smoking people dramatically decreased compared to the 1990s. We are continuing work in this direction and contribute to Europe's efforts and want to gain the status of a tobacco free territory for Turkmenistan," the country's president said.

Experts stress that smoking has lead to world wide tobacco-related health epidemics, spread by free trade, direct foreign investments, global marketing, transnational advertising, promotion of sale and sponsorship of tobacco, as well as the international movement of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes.

In response to the high spreading of smoking among the population the World Health Organization adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Turkmenistan also signed this convention in 2011.

A "National Action Plan for Tobacco Control in 2012-2016" has been worked out jointly with the WHO European Regional Office in Turkmenistan

Ashgabat hosted the WHO European Ministerial Conference on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases on Dec.3.

Turkmenistan joined WHO in 1992.