IndyACT Referees Final Session on Tobacco Control Law in Front of the Parliament: “Don’t Play With Our Health”

IndyACT Referees Final Session on Tobacco Control Law in Front of the Parliament: “Don’t Play With Our Health”
Beirut – 09 July, 2010: While Lebanon waits for the final football match of the World Cup, IndyACT awaits the final decision on the Tobacco control law currently being considered by the Parliament. But IndyACT couldn’t just sit still and observe, and so intervened by refereeing the final “match” about this law in the parliament. Activists from the League of Independent Activists – IndyACT, in a swift move, performed a peaceful action in front of the Lebanese Parliament in light of the fact that negotiations about the law were about to conclude, just like the world cup.
The ten activists from IndyACT organized a football match before the parliament, where the first team represented the international tobacco companies, the second team represented the Chamber of Deputies, and the ball was none other than the Tobacco Control Law currently under discussion in the Parliament. 
Seconds after the beginning of the game, referee IndyACT raised the red card expelling the tobacco companies’ team from the game because of its unethical infiltration and illegal blocking of the other team. This was welcomed by viewers and fans representing civil society, public health experts and academics, who chanted along with the vuvuzellas "towards complete smoking prevention in enclosed public places!" and "the Lebanese parliament, champion of the world in prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places!”
Currently the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Justice is discussing the bill to reduce tobacco usage, and is about to reach the end of discussions. It is expected that the committee will be finalizing a draft law next week, and then will bring the law to the plenary for a vote.
"Until now, the tobacco companies are winning 1:0 because the current draft law does not prohibit smoking in enclosed public places, but only divides the spaces between smokers and non-smokers. This has been proved by experts to be dangerously ineffective and can’t be applied in Lebanon," said Wael Hmaidan begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Executive Director of IndyACT.
IndyACT, and its allies the American University of Beirut and Tobacco Free Initiative, are determined to make sure that the final whistle will not be blown before the parliament passes a law to ensure the protection of the health and the economy of the Lebanese. 
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For more information, please contact:
Ali Fakhri, Communication Officer, tel. – fax: +961-1-447192, mobile: +961-71-421593, e-mail:
Pictures of this event will be published on IndyACT blog: 

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