UAE and Saudi Arabia unveil joint effort to combat smoking

Omar Abbas - | Arab

As World No-Tobacco Day rolls around on May 31, the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) is issuing a fervent call to action.

With smoking-related illnesses wreaking havoc on public health, MoHAP is urging citizens and residents alike to kick the habit. The ministry underscores the grave risks associated with smoking, from cardiovascular diseases to cancer, diabetes, and mental health issues, painting a stark picture of the toll tobacco takes on individuals and communities.

Warning Against Misleading Alternatives

In its plea for smokers to quit, MoHAP is also cautioning against the allure of electronic smoking products as purportedly safer alternatives. Despite marketing claims, scientific evidence supporting the safety of these products remains scant, prompting the ministry to advocate for informed decision-making among smokers seeking cessation aids.

To combat the tobacco epidemic, the UAE has devised a multifaceted strategy aimed at curbing tobacco consumption and fostering a smoke-free environment. Central to this strategy is a national program tailored to reduce tobacco usage, aligning closely with key national health indicators. By championing evidence-based interventions and public awareness campaigns, the UAE is positioning itself as a regional and global leader in tobacco control efforts.

By becoming a member of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, the UAE underscored its unwavering commitment to combating tobacco use on a global scale. The convention's comprehensive measures, spanning from reducing demand to curbing production and distribution, provide a robust framework for the UAE's anti-smoking endeavors. Through legislative initiatives and enforcement efforts, including the implementation of Tobacco Control Law No. 15 of 2009, the UAE is steadfast in its pursuit of a tobacco-free future.

Keystone in the country's anti-smoking drive is the "Clear the Air" campaign, led by Badael, which is owned by PIF, in Saudi Arabia. The movement unites people, groups, and government agencies to establish a smoke-free Saudi Arabia, drawing inspiration from Vision 2030's goals for a healthier public. Badael is leading the way in providing cutting-edge substitutes for conventional tobacco products, with the audacious objective of assisting one million Saudis in quitting by 2028.

Commitment to Public Health and Innovation

Badael's dedication to public health is evident in its achievements over the past year. By expanding manufacturing capacity and investing in research and development, the company has solidified its position as a trailblazer in the field of smoking cessation. The introduction of Saudi-made DZRT nicotine pouches represents a significant stride towards providing accessible and effective alternatives to smoking, empowering individuals to break free from the grips of addiction.

As part of the "Clear the Air" campaign, stakeholders across Saudi Arabia are invited to pledge their commitment to a smoke-free future. By raising awareness about the dangers of smoking, supporting cessation efforts, and advocating for clean air and environmental protection, this collective endeavor aims to safeguard the health and well-being of Saudi society for generations to come. With concerted efforts and unwavering determination, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are paving the way towards a tobacco-free tomorrow.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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