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Health Ministry mounts campaign to monitor tobacco use at homes

Saudi Arabia, February 6, 2019

RIYADH — The Health Ministry has started a campaign to monitor the spread of tobacco among adult men and women in 12,800 homes in all parts of the Kingdom.

The ministry said the campaign targets the adults aged 15 years and above from both genders so as to be able to access the spread of the use of tobacco and make plans to curb this spread.

The campaign is a joint venture with the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) under the supervision of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The survey will continue for two months and will cover all areas of the Kingdom.

The survey, which is conducted for the first time in Saudi Arabia, is a unified international measure to assess the spread of smoking among the adult men and women and draw strategies to fight it.

The ministry has been making strenuous efforts to curb the spread of smoking among Saudis and is promoting its curative services to enable smokers quit the habit.

It has established a number of de-addiction centers in various parts of the Kingdom to help smokers give up the habit.

The ministry has published books and pamphlets about the hazards of smoking and has provided free of charge medicines that help smokers kick the habit. It has established as many as 542 anti-smoking clinics to enlighten people about the dangers of smoking.

It has also introduced a mobile application that will enable citizens and expatriates report people who smoke in public places.

The ministry has also prevented shopkeepers from selling cigarettes to young people aged less than 18 years.

According to the WHO, about 6 million people die annually because of smoking and it expected the number to rise to 8 million by 2030.