Princess Ghida Talal Launches “Economics of Smoking” Policy Paper

24/04/2024

Amman, April 24, 2024 - HRH Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) and Center (KHCC), launched a new policy paper titled “The Economics of Smoking” which addresses the economic drivers and impacts of tobacco in Jordan during a panel discussion held at the Jordan Economic Forum.

The panel discussion included esteemed economists and academics specializing in the impact of smoking on the national economy and public health, and was moderated by Dr. Khair Abu Saalik, chairman of the Forum's Board of Directors.

During the seminar, Princess Ghida stated, "I address my call to each and every one of us. The time has come for us to take serious and strict steps given the numerous studies and reports that have been written, and the capabilities that already exist. It is our duty to act responsibly and enforce the implementation of Article 47 of the Public Health Law immediately."

Dr. Abu Saalik emphasized that smoking is not only a public health problem but also a significant economic burden that requires continuous, organized efforts to mitigate. He pointed to the paper’s key findings, which highlight the significant financial losses suffered annually by the Jordanian economy due to smoking and which shed a light on the burden it places on the healthcare system.

The role of educational frameworks and health awareness in schools and universities as key tools in curbing the spread of smoking among new generations was also discussed, emphasizing the importance of the role that technology can play in monitoring and analyzing smoking trends.

In his remarks, Dr. Abu Saalik also stressed the importance of national efforts to combat tobacco’s threat to the future of Jordan from both health and economic perspectives. He further underscored the Forum's commitment to playing a pivotal role in stimulating national dialogue and encouraging policymakers to take serious steps towards addressing the issue of smoking from its roots, given its long-term implications on society and the economy in Jordan.

Panelists and participants also reviewed a set of policy recommendations, including expanding awareness campaigns to encompass more age groups, especially youth, and strengthening legislation to combat smoking in public places.

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