Tunisia: Interim President Calls to Diagnose Causes of Dependence and Eradicate Smoking, Alcoholism and Drug-Addiction

Tunis — Caretaker President of the Republic Mohamed Moncef Marzouki said that "it is imperative to diagnose the deep causes of dependence to smoking, alcohol and drug to eradicate these scourges of society."

Presiding over, on Thursday in Tunis, the opening of a study day on the setting up a national strategy of fight against smoking, alcoholism and drug-addiction at school, he underlined the need to establish a democratic political system which preserves the dignity of the citizen and an educational system which takes into consideration the needs of the pupil.

Taking the floor, Education Minister Abdellatif Abid notably said that exerting efforts to fight against these phenomena is one of the best guarantees to promote the educational system and help achieve one of the objectives of the Revolution: "break with the practices of corruption."

In turn, Health Minister Abdellatif Mekki announced that a joint project between the Health and Education Ministries is underway to elaborate a quantitative and qualitative study on the phenomenon of smoking, alcoholism and drug-addiction at school.

In a statement to TAP news agency, Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh underlined the multiple efforts deployed by the security units in front of schools to fight against these scourges. The Interior Ministry, he pointed out, has launched security campaigns "on the border level."

During this study day organised as part of the national week on the fight against smoking, alcoholism and drug-addiction at school, on January 4-12, 2013 the participants underlined the need to have statistics on this phenomenon to determine the real causes.

The last 2012 studies concerning drugs at school showed that tobacco experience starts between the age of 11 and 13. According to the same study, 10 % of children between 13 and 15 years old are regular smokers and 1 adolescent out of 5 had already consumed alcohol.

Drugs rank third after smoking and alcoholism in terms of dependence.

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