Partnership for Healthy Cities



Announcement marks major milestone in Amman’s commitment to reducing noncommunicable diseases 

(AUG 8, AMMAN, JORDAN) – His Excellency Yousef Shawarbeh, Mayor of Amman, announced today that Amman has launched a new initiative to enforce a smoking ban in public parks, restaurants, and Great Amman Municipality public offices as part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to reducing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. The Partnership, announced in May of last year, is led by World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ambassador for NCDs and former New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

The city of Amman will work alongside Bloomberg Philanthropies and implementing partner Vital Strategies and Royal Health Awareness Society to deploy proven solutions to save lives and improve environments where people live, work, and gather. NCDs—including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases—and injuries caused by road traffic crashes kill 44 million people globally each year. They are responsible for almost 80 percent of global deaths. With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against diseases and injuries by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors.

In Jordan, NCDs are the main cause of death and contribute to 76% of total deaths (35% CVDS, 15% cancer, 7% diabetes). People in Jordan are at high risk of developing NCDs and Tobacco use is problematic; 60% of men and 24.0% of youth between 13-15 years are current users of tobacco products, one in five (20.7%) of young people smokes Argeelah (or Shisha) and it is rising among young women. Despite the public health law #47/2008 and its amendments in 2017, which bans smoking in public spaces, exposure to second-hand smoke is still highly prevalent. Over half of adults and youth are exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco use is a major driver of poor health, premature mortality and economic loss in Jordan.

To reduce deaths, illness and injuries related to tobacco use in Amman, where 42% of Jordan’s population resides, the city will launch a media campaign for the general public with a focus on restaurants, Cafes and public parks; conduct awareness workshops for GAM employees and restaurants owners; and hold public park activities on tobacco control and law enforcement. In addition, the city is organizing “Generations Breathing,” a competition that aims to raise awareness and create anti-Tobacco ambassadors among public school students in Amman.

“The Partnership for Healthy Cities unites mayors who are committed to helping their citizens live healthier lives and to reduce NCDs and injuries,” said WHO Global Ambassador Bloomberg. “The actions these mayors take can prevent millions of needless deaths and protect the health of generations to come, while at the same time making their cities stronger and more prosperous.”


From his part, His Excellency Yousef Shawarbeh, Mayor of Amman expressed his pride in the city for joining the global efforts to create healthier communities and improve the quality of living and functional environment for citizens, through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities. 

“The Greater Amman Municipality has adopted the best global practices as a roadmap for achieving its vision and mission and institutionalizing its values. We certainly look forward to learning from the experience of other cities in this initiative, thereby aiming to be a model of excellence in performance for other institutions to follow and for the satisfaction of all stakeholders,” said Mayor of Amman.

“Amman has been exposed to many factors that affected its growth in the recent path; mainly the negative environmental and health effects that accompanied the increasing population density,” he added. “We are taking measures to create a smoke-free city as to abide by the standards for healthy cities. Additionally, we are taking measures to reduce other health-related risks such as: securing clean fuel, reducing excess speed, increasing the use of seatbelts, banning tobacco advertising, reducing the consumption of sugary drinks, providing healthy food, and developing streets and sidewalks for walking and cycling, in accordance with the Amman Strategy for developing the public transportation system and Green Amman 2020.”

From his part, Dr. Rami Farraj, the Chairman of Board of the Royal Health Awareness Society, emphasized the importance of this strategic partnership with GAM, saying: “RHAS is a long-term partner to GAM in raising public health awareness and organizing joint activities to tackle NCDs and support the people of Amman to adopt healthier lifestyles. We are committed to our mission, and are proud to extend our collaboration under the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities focusing our efforts on tobacco control, an epidemic that is adversely affecting the lives of many Jordanians. We will work on targeted public engagement and media activities to enhance law enforcement and protect children and adults from exposure to second hand smoking, mainly at GAM offices, cafes and parks.”

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is an 18-month initiative. Each city in the Partnership has pledged to enact one of 10 proven policies identified by WHO as effective in protecting people from exposure to NCDs and injury risk factors. 

By implementing high-impact interventions, Amman will reduce the number of premature deaths caused by NCDs and their risk factors. As a part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities, Amman has gained access to a global network of city leaders and public health experts working to prevent NCDs and injuries, along with a seed grant to jumpstart the effort.


About the Partnership for Healthy Cities:

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with WHO, as well as Vital Strategies, this initiative will enable cities around the world to deliver a high-impact policy or programmatic intervention to reduce NCD risk factors in their communities. For more information, visit:  

Royal Health Awareness Society

Address: Medical City Circle-Yousef Imaish St. P.O.Box 699 Amman , 11821 Jordan
Tel: 962 6 554 1899

Fax: 962 6 554 1898

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