FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar’s Anti-Smoking Measures Earn WHO Award

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Don't smoke sign

Qatar’s dedication to a smoke-free FIFA World Cup 2022 has won it the esteemed World Health Organization (WHO) Award for World No Tobacco Day (WNTD Award). This accolade recognises the noteworthy actions taken by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), in conjunction with other relevant entities within the country, to assure a smoke-free environment throughout the tournament.

Dr Kholoud Ateeq Al-Mutaweh, Head of the Non-Communicable Diseases Department at MOPH, accepted the award from Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. This occurred during an event aligned with the World Health Assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, under the theme: “Building a Legacy for Sport and Health after Major Sporting Events”.

The award ceremony drew health ministers and senior officials from across the globe, all in attendance for the concurrent meetings of the World Health Assembly.

Dr Al-Mutaweh, in a subsequent statement, emphasised that the award was a testament to the efforts of MOPH and related authorities in implementing strict anti-smoking measures throughout the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. These measures were applied both inside and around stadiums, particularly within fan zones, to create a smoke-free atmosphere for attendees to relish the tournament. A total ban on smoking was also successfully implemented during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021.

The MOPH, along with various authorities within Qatar, is committed to battling tobacco usage through the development of initiatives and awareness campaigns aimed at protecting the health of the population. The WNTD Award serves as further encouragement to continue and intensify these efforts.

As the National Tobacco Control Liaison Officer since 2012, Dr Al-Mutaweh is also the Liaison Officer for the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, representing the State of Qatar at the World Health Organization in Geneva. Her roles extend to serving as the UAE’s representative in the meetings of the Gulf Committees on Tobacco Control of the GCC Health Council.

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