Tobacco Free Initiative, in collaboration with AUB-Tobacco Control Research Group, have coordinated with several 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.
To protect the secondhand smokers from the harm of smoking in indoors public places
To assist the government in enforcing the indoor smoking ban part 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. At present, TCCW covers over 15 NGOs and individual constituting a total of 70 inspectors.
In 2005, Lebanon ratified the FCTC; it is not till September 3rd 2011 that a law was endorsed. The law became effective in all sectors except for hospitality one. In fact the law 174 in its Article 5 states: “Smoking, lighting a tobacco product or using such a product is prohibited in all enclosed public places, workplaces and means of public transportation. The aforementioned prohibition shall take effect in restaurants; nightclubs or any other tourism or entertainment place, one year after this law takes effect.” In the process of preparing for September 3, 2012, the TCCW was established. By applying a participatory approach and benefitting from the international literature and experience of other countries, the strategic plan of the TCCW was drafted.
In the preparation phase
The 1st major activity of the TCCW was training the recruited personals to become inspectors. The training focused on the law, communication skills, ethics, rights and duties of the inspector while in the field. The second major activity was to give the TCCW a legal status. On August 31, 2012 the minister of interior announced during a national press conference that the TCCW will help the authorities by reporting violation of the law 174. In parallel each inspector was given an ID that he/she can use during the field visit as well as a TCCW t-shirt/vest for visibility. The 3d activity was to promote the TCCW. We did not miss any opportunity that was given to us whether through TV, radio, written or social media to promote the TCCW and encourage regular citizen to join or even to report any kind of violation.
Connect with TCCW
TCCW created a “Responsible Citizen” section in order to connect with the public and help them report violations of Law 174. If you would like to take part and make a change in Lebanon, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Log in to your Facebook account2.
- Follow TCCW’s Facebook page
- File a report in case of violation.