The Tobacco Law Count Down is on!

The Tobacco Law Count Down is on!
 
One year has passed since Tobacco Control Law number 174 was issued by the Lebanese parliament due to the consistent efforts of IndyACT, Tobacco Free Initiative and AUB Tobacco Control Research group. When it was issued on September 2011, the government gave the tourism sector a one-year probation period to adapt to the needs and requirements of the law. 
 
Now, as we get closer to this date of complete enforcement of Law 174, IndyACT has decided to set 3 countdown clocks across Lebanon to count down the last days remaining before the beginning of a new smoke free age in all indoors. 
The clocks were launched in premium locations on August 18th , namely in Beirut, Tyr and Byblos. 
Many activists and NGOs celebrated the beginning of the countdown alongside IndyACT since they have also worked for years to enforce a tobacco control law in Lebanon. It all began in Beirut, the capital, at 11 am.
 
Reporters and photographers first started gathering around the huge clock installed next to the Martyr’s monument in Down Town, Beirut. The clock read “Fout Shim Al Hawa” which was the title of the entire campaign. 
 
Later on, and to end the confusion, the representative of the Mayor of Beirut, Ghassan Elias and IndyACT’s Board Member, Wael Hmaidan gathered the people around to announce the official beginning of the count-down till Sep 3rd when law 174 will be fully implemented in all closed public places including the touristic locations.
“We will do whatever it takes to enforce the Tobacco Control Law 174 all over Beirut,” said Elias.
 
Hmaidan also showed great thrill towards this huge step that the Lebanese government has taken which affects the entire society on different levels.
“We are so happy to be able to show to the world the real civilized image of Lebanon and the Lebanese people. Now we can have better health, better economy and better tourism,” stated Hmaidan.
 
At noon, Tyr witnessed some anti-smoking action as well! MP Ali Bazzi alongside IndyACT Project Manager; Abbas Sibai, and supporters from Tyr Youth of Tomorrow NGO cut the ribbon of the clock. 
 
The Roman road in Byblos also hosted a massive celebration at night to launch the third countdown clock. The clock was surrounded by tens of Red Cross members who offered a lot of help and support throughout the campaign. 
 
The representative of the Minister of Environment, Mounir Sayyah and the head of Byblos Municipality; Ziad Hawwat pointed out their full support for the law and its complete enforcement.
“The Ministry of Environment is willing to offer any kind of help and support needed to fully implement Tobacco Control law 174,” announced Sayyah.

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