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East Mediterr Health J. 2012 Aug;18(8):803-10.

Comparison of tobacco control policies in the Eastern Mediterranean countries based on Tobacco Control Scale scores.

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Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Centre, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.


This cross-sectional survey aimed to provide an overview of tobacco control strategies in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). A questionnaire to collate data on implementation of 6 major policies was developed based on the previously published Tobacco Control Scale and using MPOWER measures of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative and the Tobacco Atlas. Only 3 of the 21 countries scored higher than 50 out of 100: Islamic Republic of Iran (61), Jordan (55) and Egypt (51) More than half of countries scored less than 26. Highest scores were achieved by Afghanistan in cigarette pricing, Oman in smoking bans in public places, Islamic Republic of Iran in budgeting, prohibition of advertisements and health warnings against smoking and Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia and Kuwait in tobacco cessation programmes. The low mean total score in EMR countries (29.7) compared with European countries (47.2) highlights the need for better future planning and policy-making for tobacco control in the Region.

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