Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is pushing ahead with his plan to make the country tobacco-free by 2025, according to a story in The Times of Central Asia quoting a Turkmen state media report.
The state-run newspaper Neitralny Turkmenistan reported that the president had signed a program ordering measures to be taken during the next five years to push his initiative.
Berdymukhammedov has been a proponent of healthy living and has made it a key aspect of his ‘autocratic rule’, the Times said.
In 2013, he banned the sale of cigarettes in state stores during the month of April each year, according to local media reports.
The country aimed to become the first ‘tobacco-free country in the European region’ by reducing its smoking rate to five percent or lower by 2025.
The actions undertaken by the government so far have included ratification in 2011 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, enactment of a comprehensive tobacco control law in 2013, and the provision of free support and counselling services for individuals trying to give up smoking.
The government was said also to be implementing the WHO tobacco control project, ‘Implementation of the Ashgabat Declaration: Towards the Tobacco Free European Region for 2015-2018’.