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Posted On: 30 May 2022 09:53 pm
Updated On: 30 May 2022 10:33 pm

Qatar among the best tobacco smoke-free countries in the region

Tracy Quirino
Tracy Quirino
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Qatar among the best tobacco smoke free countries in the region

As per The Peninsula, Qatar will join the world in celebrating World No-Tobacco Day, which is observed annually on May 31. The World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen "Tobacco: Threat to our environment" as a theme for this year’s World No-Tobacco Day to focus on the harm that smoking causes to the environment at all stages, starting with its cultivation, industry, smoking and disposal.

Minister of Public Health, H.E. Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari explained that tobacco smoke pollution is almost non-existent in Qatar, as there is no tobacco cultivation or manufacturing of tobacco products in the country. Dr. Al Kuwari added that Qatar has strict legislation that bans smoking in indoor spaces, including all stadiums and sports facilities. The government also places the efforts to combat smoking among the priorities of the Ministry of Public Health’s strategy for sustainable development.

Dr. Al Kuwari indicated that Qatar’s participation as a member of the Global Convention on Tobacco Control and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and its active participation at the Conference of the Parties to the Framework on Tobacco Control helps limit the adverse impact of smoking on the community and the environment.

She explained that work will be done with all national authorities in activating all legislation and regulations that keep Qatar among the best countries in the region that promote environments free of secondary and third smoking which also pollutes air and land.

The minister has also said that the state has provided all possibilities to help smokers quit smoking through various means including the anti-smoking centre of Hamad Medical Corporation accredited by the world health organization. In addition to providing smoking cessation clinics in primary health care centres, Dr, Al Kuwari mentions that these efforts were made "because we believe that the treatment for any smoker is to provide a significant health and economic burden on the smoker himself, his family and the health system in the state in general".

Dr. Ahmed Al Mulla, Head of HMC’s Tobacco Control Center, explained that any visitor to Qatar can easily notice an effective smoke-free environment in public transportation, malls, public and private institutions, schools, universities, and stadiums. Dr. Al Mulla expressed hope for a more comprehensive ban to include other places, such as public parks and marine parks. He also called for a process to discourage those who throw cigarette butts in the streets and parks from doing this practice.

The anti-smoking centre of Hamad Medical Corporation has invited individuals who smoke to abstain from smoking on this world day to celebrate World No-Tobacco Day.

Source: The Peninsula, HMC
Cover image credit: Shutterstock