UAE, May 17, 2017- The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention unveiled a campaign to mark ‘World NO Tobacco Day' which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Tobacco - A Threat to Development' this year. The launch was held in the presence of H.E. Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, the Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry's Health Clinics and Centers; Dr. Wedad Al Medor, Head of the National Tobacco Control Committee; a number of department heads; physicians and technicians working in the field of Tobacco Control; and the sponsoring company.
Dr. Al Rand emphasized that the ‘World NO Tobacco Day' campaign aims to raise awareness on the negative effects of tobacco on the health of the people and accelerate tobacco control efforts. He stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that about 6 million people die from using tobacco every year, a figure that includes more than 600,000 deaths from exposure to second-hand smoking. He said that if no action is taken today to control this threat, it will grow into a global epidemic causing the deaths of more than 8 million people every year by 2030.
The Assistant Undersecretary noted that the UAE Ministry of Health, represented by the National Tobacco Control Program, strives to control all kinds of tobacco products and raise awareness about the risks posed by tobacco consumption in line with the Ministry's strategic goal of promoting healthy lifestyles for Emirati society and controlling associated diseases. He also highlighted that the National Agenda for UAE Vision 2021 aims to reduce the ‘prevalence of smoking any tobacco product' from 21.6 per cent in 2010 to 15.7 per cent by 2021.
Dr. Al Rand added: “As part of our efforts, the Ministry remains determined to protect public health and control tobacco with the help of its strategic partners through Cabinet Decision No. 24 of 2013 concerning the Implementing Regulation for the Federal Tobacco Control Act No. 15 of 2009. We are working with the municipalities and economic departments across the UAE with the
aim to put the law in full force. Interestingly, the UAE is also one of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).”
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention continues to pay increasing attention to the activities and initiatives to control prevalence of tobacco, advocating effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and quit smoking. The move incorporated an expanded plan to provide contributory services that help smokers stop the habit, for which the number of dedicated clinics has increased from 6 to 12 in 2016. A manual has also been issued and circulated to the designated clinics to help smokers quit smoking. In addition, the required medical and technical staff were trained and educated to help people quit smoking as well as provide them with medications.
The ‘World No Tobacco Day' campaign in the UAE featured a number of activities. Besides the scientific program, smokers who have successfully quit smoking from No-Tobacco clinics were honoured, and other smokers were encouraged to do the same. Awards were also given to staff of the No-Tobacco Clinics in recognition of their support for smokers to quit and recover. Other activities included a workshop on ‘the skills of treating smokers to quit smoking' to enhance the competences of the employees in these clinics.