Networking

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Media

  • ​An Alarming Unrecognized Pollutant of Indoor Private and Public Space: Waterpipe Tobacco Smoke - ​Human and Health, Summer 2018 No:44 Human and Health Interview
  • Where is Tobacco ​​Control law? ​4000 victims each year in Lebanon. (Read full article in arabic​)​​​

  • A Position statement was published as a press release by the Mechanical Engineering Department at the American University of Beirut on 20 April 2010. The statement strongly advises against any exemptions because it has been shown through numerous scientific studies that partitioning indoor spaces into smoking and non-smoking areas does not work, even when advanced ventilation and filtration technologies are used.

  • Four Editorials were published:
  1. An Open Letter to all Legislators” by Dr. Zaatari, chairman of the WHO TOBREG Committee (June 2010)
  2. "Lebanese Woman...Resist" by Dr. Zaatari, chairman of the WHO TOBREG Committee (May 2010)
  3. "Fighting Smoking" by Dr. Zaatari, chairman of the WHO TOBREG Committee (April 2010)
  4. Drafting a Tobacco Control Law: An Unequal Battle with the Tobacco Industry​” by Dean Iman Nuwayhid (February 2010)


One of the artistic projects that was developed by students during the World No Tobacco Day 2011

  • World No Tobacco Day 2010: Intensive media coverage of tobacco control related articles in the media:
  1. An article titled “Lungs at work… Please do not Smoke Second-hand smoking also kills” published in “Pharma Sante” – September issue.
  2. An article titled “Your children are smokers too Protect them from second and third hand smoke” published in “Moms and to be” – June issue
  3. An article titled “Tabac et grossesse: Un couple poussé au divorce​” published “Astuces” – June issue
  4. An article titled “Serving Smoke-Free Air How close are we from banning smoking in public places in Lebanon”  published in “Fitness News” – May issue
  • On the social media level, AUB-TCRG communicated tobacco relate issues and advocated for tobacco control through Facebook pages and groups such as the below mentioned two groups:
  1. Law174 facebook page: Click Here 
  2. Stop public smoking in Lebanon Click Here​
  • AUB-TCRG and Civil Society Dinner with supportive journalists for the Tobacco Control Law 174.


Weekly statements sent to the media by AUB-TCRG, TFI, and TCCW:
Date​
​Statements
​November 7, 2012
Read Statement
​December 3, 2012
Read Statement
​December 19, 2012
​Read Statement
December 27, 2012
​Read Statement
​January 3, 2013
Read Statement
​February 3, 2013
Read Statement
​February 15, 2013
​Read Statement
​March 12, 2013
Read Statement
​May 8, 2013 
​Read Statement
​May 10, 2013
Read Statement
​May 20, 2013 
Read Statement
​May 31, 2013
Read Statement
​September 26, 2013
​Read Statement
​February4, 2014
​Read Statement
​February 28, 2014
​Read Statement
​April 13, 2014​
​Read Statement​​

Weekly Statements Summary (translated to English) (Click here​)

MEDIA MONITORING

The rapid evaluation of media monitoring (media round up of tobacco related news on a daily basis) revealed an important shift in the media reporting, among policy makers, among NGOs and among some public organizations.

Since early 2010 there has been a positive shift towards supporting the tobacco control policy. Daily media monitoring revealed an important shift in coverage. When AUB-TCRG with the collaboration of Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and IndyAct had released the first tobacco control position statement in Feb 2010, the media was very responsive. The daily monitoring of local newspapers revealed a high coverage of tobacco related news/articles and a rich supportive content of most articles towards tobacco control in Lebanon.

These changing norms and opinions expressed by media were reflected in January 2011 when one of the top five TV stations in Lebanon (LBC) shifted its position from being conservative to a total banning all kinds of tobacco advertising and generous coverage of tobacco related issues.

Media Coverage of Tobacco Control issues in Lebanon starting from the year 2012:

​Month​
​Media Summary
​Month
​Media Summary
​Month
​Media Summary
​​
​Year 2012
​Year 2013

​​Year 2014​
​January
Media Mon​itor​
​January
Media Monitor
January
Media Monitor
​February
Media Monitor
​February
​Media Monitor
February
Media Monitor
​March
Media Monitor
​March
Media Monitor
​March
Media Monitor​
​April
Media Monitor
​April
​Media Monitor


​May
Media Monitor
​May
Media Monitor


​June
Media Monitor
​June
Media Monitor


​July
Media Monitor
​July
Media Monitor


​August
Media Monitor
​August
Media Monitor


​September
Media Monitor
​September
Media Monitor


​October
Media Monitor
​October
Media Monitor


​November
Media Monitor
​November
Media Monitor


​December
M​edia Monitor​​
​December
Media Monitor​



Media monitoring included also monitoring all TV programs, episodes, and reports that mentioned the Tobacco Control Law. Below is the table that summarizes all the links of TV programs and reports that were concerned with the law during the year 2013

​Date
​Links
​July 2010
​January 2013
​May 2013
September  2013
​October 2013
​April 2014
​June 2015
​May 2016

Non Governmental Organizations

  • AUB-TCRG was able to coordinate and work intensively with two local NGOs mainly Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and IndyAct  on tobacco control advocacy activities, in addition to 20 other NGOs who were part of the Lebanese National Tobacco Control Coalition (LNTCC). The main benefit of working and cooperating with NGOs is that they have a direct connection to the public of all categories  and can reach them in different areas of lebanon.
  • ADVOCACY​: In March 2010, a seminar on “Tobacco control policy in Lebanon” was conducted in collaboration with two NGOs (Green Hand and Rotary club of Aley) which are part of the LCTC (Lebanese Coalition on Tobacco control). The discussion panel included TFI vice president, AUB-TCRG coordinator, and the manager of the National Tobacco Control Program. The event was attended by local NGOs representatives and was covered in the media. Read more... 
  • PETITION: Two local NGOs ,Tobacco Free initiative (TFI) and IndyACT  developed a petition to request a strong evidence -based tobacco control law with the coordination of AUB-TCRG. The petition was circulated to organizations and individuals email and advertised through facebook pages.  To date, the petition has been signed by over 50 organizations, 15 syndicates and public institutions, and 30 private companies, as well as Heads of Parliamentary blocs and a number of individual Parliamentarians.
    The petition continues to collect signatures: Link to the "Petition"
  • WNTD NATIONAL CELEBRATION: In May 2010, the Coalition of NGOs on Tobacco Control (CTC- Lebanon)  that was established in early 2010 had organized for World No Tobacco Day on 31 May at the UNESCO Palace.  The conference focused on the role of role models to promote TC concepts mainly among youth. The conference was successful in terms of catching the media’s attention and the diversity of the participants.​


Conference on "Tobacco Free Lebanon" at UNESCO on the "World No Tobacco Day 2010"- by CTC Lebanon

  • SCHOOL CONTEST: Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) in collaboration with Antonine University and with the participation of schools, children and clubs organized a WNTD event and contest that was covered in the media.
  • WNTD 2010: In June 2010, the Swiss ambassador to Lebanon hosted at his residence, the tenth anniversary of the Lebanese NGO Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI).  Few supportive Parliamentarians attended the reception.
  • MARATHON PARTICIPATION: On November 7, 2010, participants from different NGOs that are supportive of tobacco control policies in Lebanon – mainly Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), ANERA, Rotaryact - participated, as advocates for this cause, in the Beirut Marathon, under the theme of “Run for Tobacco Free Lebanon”. On the race day, more than 1000 participants were wearing T-shirts that had messages such "Towards a Smoke Free Lebanon" or "To 100% Smoke Free Public Places" with the pictures of lungs on it from the back and front.


Young people running for Tobacco Free Lebanon at Beirut marathon on November 2010

  • LOBBYING : In July 2010, members of the League of Independent Activists (IndyAct) gathered in Sodeco in front of the office of the largest global tobacco industry (BAT), to protest tobacco-firm lobbying as lawmakers discuss a new anti-smoking law.
In 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. So, ten activists from the League of Independent Activists – IndyACT, organized a football match in front of 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!”



IndyACT activists playing football in front of the Lebanese Parliament

On 16 March 2011, IndyAct activists protested infront of the Lebanese parliament while the Committee of Administration and Justice (CAJ) was holding a meeting to discuss the tobacco control law in Lebanon. The female activists posed as pregnant women, and wore t-shirts that say “ Your smoke Kills my baby” with a picture of an infant on their bellies to signify the deadly impact of second-hand smoke on every Lebanese citizen and their children. The purpose of the action was to warn the members of the committee from the influence of the tobacco industry, and to push them in passing the law...



IndyACT activists protesting in front of the Lebanese parliament while the CAJ was discussing the tobacco control law

AUB-TCRG hosted a meeting with the Coalition on Tobacco Control (CTC-Lebanon) on the 15th of April 2011 aimed at developing the coalition’s strategy and action plan to cope with the AUB-TCRG agenda.

On November 18, 2011 an award ceremony was held at UNESCO by the Coalition on Tobacco Control (CTC-Lebanon) to award all pioneers that worked on the tobacco control law. The event included a speech by M.P. Atef Majdalani and Minister of Health Ali Hasan Khalil and distribution of medals. A group photo was taken at the end of the ceremony.




  • World Cancer Day 2012-Celebration at the Syndicate of Doctors- February 11, 2012 (R​ead more
  • Al Hayaa Al Islamia's Event-June 23, 2012 (Read​ more)
  • World No Tobacco Day 2012: on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day 2012, the health ministry launched a multimedia campaign to usher in the final phase of the law which will ban smoking in all public places starting from September 3, 2012 (Read more)


Tobacco Control Citizen Watch: Tobacco Free Initiative, along with AUB Tobacco Control Research Group and IndyAct, coordinated  with different NGOs around Lebanon to build a network of volunteers to work together under the umbrella of the Tobacco Control Citizen Watch (TCCW) in order to monitor the enforcement of the Law 174.



Vision of TCCW: To protect the second hand smokers from the harm of smoking in indoor public places.

Mission of TCCW : To assist the government in enforcing the indoor smoking ban part of of law 174 as well as raise citizens' awareness of the harms of second hand smoking. In the event that the government is not fulfilling its job in enforcing the law, TCCW will not shy away from applying the policy of naming-and-shaming through the media.

Interested in helping TCCW?

  • TCCW is creating a section Responsible Citizen for all people that would like to report violation of the law 174 through logging to the following link: (Click here) and filling a report.


  • You can also call 1735 for violation in hospitality sector or 1739 for sponsoring, advertising, or giving free samples.
  • Be part of the TCCW inspectors by joining the team. To do so you need to go through half day training (law, ethics, communication skills...) and be sommitted to volunteer for specific hours of inspection.
Like the TCCW page on facebook to stay updated with all events and news related to the Law 174: (Click here)

Launching of TCCW  

A meeting at the Ministry of Interior was held to discuss the implementation of the law 174. The meeting was followed by a press confernce to launch the Tobacco Control Citizen Watch.



Inspectors in Action




  • Supporting the enforcement of Law 174 and refusing any amendment- October 17, 2012: Under the slogan "Supporting the Enforcement of Law 174 and Refusing any Amendment", a meeting was held at the "Doctors' Syndicate in Lebanon" in coorporation with the "Tobacco Control Citizen Watch" and the "Tobacco Control Research Group at the American University of Beirut" . The meeting at "Beit Al Tabeeb" was attended by a number of professionals including heads of syndicates (pharmacists, physiotherapists, dentists, nurses, lawyers, and editors), trade unions, presidents of universities and schools in Lebanon, civil society organizations, the private sector, parliamentarians, and media organizations. (Arabic Press Release) (English Press Release)​


Check below the links of videos for all speeches

​​Guest Speaker​
​Link
​Mr. Fouad Fleifill ​
Watch Video
​Dr. Waleed Ammar
Watch Video
​Mr. Fadi Brakat 
Watch Video
​Mr. Elie Bseibis
Watch Video
Mr. Bshara Shaya
Watch Video
​Dr. Peter Dorman  
Watch Video
​Dr. Hasan El Boushra
Watch Video
​Dr. Joseph Jabra 
Watch Video
​Mr. Maroun Al Khawli
Watch Video
​MP Dr. Atef Majdalani
Watch Video
​Mr. Assad Mirza 
​Watch Video
​Pere Boutros Azar
Watch Video
​Dr. Sharaf Abou Sharaf
Watch Video
​Dr. Nina Zeidan
Watch Video​​

Amendment of the Law 174 is unconstitutional as per Dr. Hassan Rifaat, Professor of Law at Universite Saint Joseph (Read more)

  • World No Tobacco Day 2013-Lion Club Event: As part of World No Tobacco Day's Events, Lions Internation Club organized an event in Charles Hotsler Auditorium on May 23, 2013. The objective of the event was to support the implementation of the tobacco control law 174. the event included speeches by Dr. Rima Nakkash, Lions members, and two musical performances by Anwar Nour and Gabriel Abdelnour.



Workshop on Tobacco Litigation in Lebanon-Law 174, June 5-6, 2013
On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day, a workshop related to Tobacco Letigation in Lebanon was held in Hotel Jefinor on JUne 5 and 6, 2013. The main speakers at the workshop were lawyer Wjadi Haraki (read Haraki's presentation), Dr. Ghazi Zaatrai (read Dr. Zaatarti's presentation), and Mr. Emmanuelle Beguinot (read Beguinot's presentation).






Lobbying Policy Makers

​Letter to the Lebanses commnader, Jean Kahwaji:
As a response to the acceptance of the Lebanese General Commander, Jean Kahwaji, to a $2,600,000 donation from "Regie Libanaise des Tabacs et Tombacs", which is an enterprise that is associated with tobacco products, a letter explaining the objection of the AUB-TCRG to such actions along with suggestions regarding this donation was sent to his excellence. (Read the letter)

Activists Protest Lax Implementation of Tobacco Control Law



Activists took to the streets of Beirut on May 11, 2013 driving hearses to depict the status of public health amid reports that government officials have decided not to act on violations of the tobacco control law. A small convoy of funeral cars passed by the Interior and Tourism ministries to raise awarness among officials and the public about the need to implement law 174 that bans indoor smoking in closed public places (Read more).

Open letter to President of the Republic and Prime Minister (Read letter)

Champions Meeting-January 17, 2013:

The civil society campaign working for implementation and enforcement of Tobacco Control Law 174 in partnership with American University of Beirut- Tobacco Control Research Group held a reception at the American University of Beirut-College Hall B1 on January 17, 2013 at 7p.m. The reception brought together supports of the Law 174 for the purpose of reinforcing the message to the government and the public of the value of this law on the health and economy of this nation. The reception was attended by ministers, parliamentarians, and civil society who are responsible for enforcing and protecting Law 174 (Press release).







The event also included signing of pledges by ministers and parliamentarians






Speaker
​Video Link
​​Powerpoint Presentation (PDF)​
​Dr. Alan Shihadeh
Watch Video
​​Read presentation​
​MP Dr. Atef Majdaleni
Watch Video​

​Dr. Sharaf Abo Sharaf
Watch Video​
​Read Speech
Minister of Tourism Fadi Abboud
​Watch Video​

​Miss Hala Alaouie
Watch Video​
Read presentation​​​
​Minister of Interior Marwan Charbel
Watch Video​

​AUB President Dr. Peter Dorman
Watch Video​

​Dr. Waleed Ammar
Watch Video​

​Dr. Rima Nakkash
Watch Video​
Watch Video​


LOBBYING PARLIAMENTARIANS-November, 2011:

AUB-TCRG members, with the coordination of TFI and IndyACT met with over 35 Lebanese Parliamentarians from different political parties to advocate and seek support for a strong and comprehensive tobacco control policy.  The meetings served to inform the AUB-TCRG of the most prevalent counterarguments and misconceptions about tobacco control regulation.  Parliamentarians were presented with supporting documents including requested amendments, supporting evidence based documents that reveal the importance of the adoption of a strong tobacco control law (such as position statement; WHO-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC); summary kits on  Pictorial health warningsSecond hand smoking; and  Banning advertisements; and assessment studies on implementing tobacco control policies in Lebanon:  At the workplaceAt the educational institutions; and  At the restaurants and hospitality places​)



Social reception for the supportive Lebanese parlimentainas

  • Letter to Ministry of Health:   A letter was sent to the minister of public health on October 17, 2011 asking for an appointment to discuss issuing the bylaws and implementation of the law.(Read letter)
  • SECOND POSITION STATEMENT: February 28,2011   A strong position statement was developed by AUB-TCRG,TFI and IndyACT, which assertively called for no exemptions or exceptions, nor equivocation. The statement stressed that these three parties are aware of deviations in the parliamentary discussions. (Statement)
  • Letter to Prime Minister Najib Mikati: A letter was sent to Prime Minister Najib Mikati on September 26, 2011 asking for an appointment to discuss need to speed up the bylaws and enforcement of the law. (Read letter​)
  • Lobbying prior to the General Assembly of the parliament:   In August the Speaker of the Parliament scheduled legislative meetings in August to discuss a number of draft bills on the agenda. The media specifically mentioned the Tobacco Control draft bill, among a list of 100 other bills. Accordingly, AUB-TCRG developed a letter to all the members of the parliament (MPs), few days before the session was due to be held, which addressed two main points in the current draft bill that needed amendment. The same letter was sent out to all Media on August 1, 2011. (Read letter) (Fact sheet arabic) (Fact sheet english)
Civil Society and Academia with Dr. Atef Majdalani, Head of the Parliamentary Committee for Health, on August 17, 2011 right after the voting on Law 174:





Networking with Parliamentarians: AUB Reception

PARLIAMENTARIAN RECEPTION: Towards the end of November 2010, the parliamentarian committee was close to concluding it’s discussions of the draft law. The AUB-TCRG organized a social reception for all supporting parliamentarians under the auspices of the Minister of Health and in collaboration with the Parliamentary Committee for Public Health, Labor, and Social Affairs, and the National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP). The reception aimed at showcasing supportive parliamentarians to buttress support for a strong law, to expedite discussions in parliamentary committees to the general assembly for voting, and to get commitment ...Read more

The First and Major Avocacy position statement to Parliamentarians (February 2010)  (Read more)​