UAE Health Ministry urges smokers to kick habit to mark 'World No Tobacco Day' - GulfToday

UAE Health Ministry urges smokers to kick habit to mark 'World No Tobacco Day'


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

World No Tobacco Day 2020, which takes place on May 31 under the theme “protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”, aims to raise people’s awareness about the health risks of smoking and its economic development burden on governments and societies, and the need to continue to implement effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), smokers are most likely to develop health complications if they are infected with COVID-19.

At the global level, the UAE is one of the world’s first countries to join the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. At the local level, the UAE has developed a national indicator of the smoking rate with plans to reduce it to 15.7 by 2021. In addition, the country has formed a national committee for tobacco control comprising 12 government entities to draft tobacco control-related legislations, regulations, and systems, along with a database about tobacco use, its products, and its trade.

The UAE’s efforts in this respect have yielded the decrease rate of adult smokers by 18 per cent since 2010 in accordance with the health survey 2017 – 2018, in addition to imposing the selective tax on tobacco and its derivatives by 50 – 100 per cent.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched several projects and initiatives to elevate awareness about smoking risks and to encourage smokers to quit. This includes the establishment of a network of 16 smoking cessation clinics in the primary health care centres with plans to expand, the mobile smoking cessation clinic, and other initiatives.

In order to activate the articles of the Tobacco Control Law, the Health Ministry has established effective partnerships with various government sectors. The ministry has also developed a guideline and an integrated training programme through the “Maharti System” to enhance the capabilities and skills of the physicians to provide smoking cessation services and standardise the work in accordance with the internationally approved treatment protocol.

In the same vein, MoHAP is launching several awareness campaigns via social networking sites to enhance awareness about smoking risks, especially in the time of COVID-19, and to warn against COVID-19 dangers for smokers and disease transmission.

On this day, the Ministry of Health and Prevention urges smokers to make the right decision and quit. MoHAP also warns of the illegal ways tobacco companies use to promote e-cigarettes as less harmful products without any scientific evidence that supports these allegations.

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