Award to Laud the Enlightening Anti-Smoking Policy in Iran
On the evening of May 30, Golden Year 4 (2007), the night before the International Anti-Smoking Day convention, TV reporters and government officers gathered at the Ministry office of the Health department of Iran to witness the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association presenting the "Shining World Leadership Award" to the Islamic Republic of Iran Ministry of Health and to the Deputy of Health. This Award is presented in recognition of outstanding effort and enlightened leadership to achieve a comprehensive smoking ban law. The ceremony began with the playing of a 16 minute DVD to introduce the origin and purpose of the "Shining World Leadership Award" and some famous Award receivers. The Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Alavian accepted the award and expressed his gratitude for receiving the award from Supreme Master Ching Hai.
In his speech Dr. Alavian pointed out: "Prophet Mohammad mentioned that security and health are the two most important issues to the population. I thought this is common in other religions as well." "We love our children; we love our neighbors' children as well. We love our population's children. So this is why we recommend to all parents to stop smoking in the family. We don't like to see any danger or any harm to the people because we believe that they are from God."
On the evening of May 31, Golden Year 4 (2007), around 1,000 people gathered at the auditorium of Shahid-Beheshti University of Medical Science in beautiful Tehran, Iran, to participate in the International Anti-Smoking Day convention. The participants came from diverse backgrounds - WHO (World Health Organization) delegates, cooperation representatives, Health Department staff from the Municipality of Tehran, professors, students, teachers, and many citizens. The event was organized by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry of Health supported by 13 non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The event comprised of speeches, award presentations, and performances. The culmination of the three and a half hour event was the presentation of the "Shining World Leadership Award" presented by members of The Supreme Master Ching Hai Award Committee to another two governmental departments involved in the formation of the anti-smoking law, Environmental and Occupational Health Center and Tobacco Control Secretariat. Dr. Joneidi, Director General of the Environmental and Occupational Health Center, and Mrs. Mohasseli, the responsible expert for Tobacco Control Secretariat received the award on behalf of their departments.
One of the VIPs Dr. Farid Abolhassani, Deputy of Health Tehran University of Medical Science said, "The importance of this day in Iran and everywhere in the world is to bring all participants together, to think together, and to work together, for bringing in some important benefit to communities and it is the cessation of using tobacco, and making a world it is tobacco free."
The two award recipients, Dr. Joneidi and Mrs. Khadijeh Fereidon Mohasseli kindly accepted our interview on May 30 and June 1 to share their thoughts of receiving the award from Supreme Master Ching Hai and updated on us the status of the Tobacco Control Ban, the current focus of tobacco control, and the policy. On June 1, we also had a 40-minute interview with Dr. Azaripour, a member of the board of experts in the Tobacco Free Life Association. He shared with us the job he has been doing and his international working experience with other NGOs. His words inspired the public to realize the value of Tobacco Free life.
Note: We would like to especially thank Mr. Behzad Valizadeh, Expert of National Tobacco Control Secretariat in the Environmental and Occupational Health Center, Ministry of Health and Medical Education. He is the main organizer for the International Anti-Smoking Day convention. He gave great support to our Supreme Master Television crew.