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Stubbing out the smoke
The UAE government is hoping that its new anti-tobacco law will help the country’s smokers kick the habit.
January 7, 2010 3:38 by Aarti Nagraj
The health minister said the government hopes to “block the way of companies or individuals who are trying to seduce population, notably the young generation, into the circle of smoking.” The ministry of health will also conduct a nationwide campaign to spread awareness about the hazards of smoking, he added.
The risks of using tobacco are scary. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) someone dies of smoking-related diseases every eight seconds, tobacco use kills more than 5 million people per year, and, if current trends continue, it could be killing more than 8 million people per year by 2030. A 2009 report from the organization says that the tobacco death toll for the 21st century could reach 1 billion.
Everyday 3,000 children worldwide become regular smokers and one-third will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases, says the body. “It is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended by the manufacturer,” it says.
Last year another WHO report found that 14.4 percent of adults in the UAE smoke, which is less than the regional average of 18.3 percent and the global average of 26 percent. Only 2.6 percent of women in the country admitted to smoking as compared to a global average of 9.6 percent.