IndyACT sends a message to the Lebanese Parliament and Tobacco Companies: “We are Watching You”

IndyACT sends a message to the Lebanese Parliament and Tobacco Companies: “We are Watching You” 
 
Today, members of the Global League of Activists, IndyACT, organized out a peaceful action near the Lebanese Parliament, demanding the Parliamentary Committee for Administration and Justice, which is discussing the draft law for tobacco control, not to succumb to the pressures of the tobacco manufacturers and promoters.
 
Four activists from IndyACT executed an action at the entrance of the Lebanese Parliament, where the Administration and Justice Committee was meeting. The activists wore huge eyes on their heads and held a banner saying “we are watching you”, to indicate that civil society is monitoring the committee’s work and what the tobacco industry is doing, and that they are ready to mobilize whenever needed. Once the activists arrived to the Parliament’s entrance, the internal security forces and MP’s personal bodyguards interfered, and accompanied the activists outside the security area surrounding the building. 
 
Tobacco companies are lobbying to prevent a complete ban on smoking in public areas, and instead are proposing to establish smoking and non-smoking sections in public areas. International research has proven that establishing smoking and non-smoking sections does not protect non-smokers, since smoke pollutants travel fast through the air. “It seems strange that tobacco companies are allowed to attend the committee meetings and their opinion is taken into consideration more than that of the civil society”, said Dr. Naji Kodeih, a policy expert at IndyACT. “Adopting a week law will be a lost opportunity that cannot be compensated before years”, he added.
 
In December 2005, Lebanon ratified the WHO “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”, but till now it has not been implemented. As a result, and according to WHO statistics, more than 150,000 kids and more than 350,000 adults suffer from fatal diseases due to exposure to tobacco smoke. 
 
IndyACT’s campaign does not aim to prevent people from smoking, but to protect the right of non-smokers. The organization considers that it is not fair for any person (either smoker or non-smoker) to be forced to the tobacco smoke of others. 
 
Pictures regarding this event are available at: http://indyact.blogspot.com
 
For more information, kindly call:
Ali Fakhri, Communication Officer, Phone- Fax: +961-1-44192, Mobile: +961-71-421593
E-mail: comms@indyact.org

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