Vice President Faisal Naseem has met with the top management of Turkish Green Crescent Society—one of the oldest and most established institutions combating addictions in the world. The meeting was held this afternoon at the President’s Office.

The Turkish Green Crescent Society is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working for the protection of young people from tobacco, alcohol, drugs and technology addictions. Discussions at the meeting were focussed on the prevalence of tobacco use, drug abuse and other addictions in the Maldives and challenges to combating and controlling such addictions.

Speaking at the meeting, the Vice President inquired about the ways the Turkish Green Crescent Society can support the Maldives in controlling tobacco, combating drug abuse and preventing such addictions. The management of the organisation shared details of its tobacco cessation and drug prevention programmes in the region; including its work in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore—especially its work in preventing children from picking up smoking and substance abuse.

The government implements strict measures to control tobacco; growing tobacco and regulating advertising and sale of tobacco products, and preventing non-tobacco users from second-hand smoke by prohibiting smoking in government buildings and other workplaces, public transport vehicles, eateries, cafés and restaurants. It is a top priority of the administration to prevent the use, peddling and trafficking of drugs and prioritises treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent persons to facilitate their reintegration back into the community.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla. The Turkish Green Crescent Society was established in 1920 and currently has over 64 branches, 80 representative agencies and 30,000 members.