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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
However, the report also said that the number of adolescents smoking in the country, 19.5 percent, was slightly higher than the regional average of 15.2 percent and the global average of 13.6 percent. Overall, residents of the UAE reportedly spend more than $100 million a year on tobacco.
Over the last few years all of the emirates have implemented different types of smoking bans. In Dubai, for instance, smoking is already prohibited in hotels, public parks, malls, restaurants, cafes and sports halls. The Public Health Department also said that it was planning to make Dubai’s roads and beaches smoke-free.
And in September 2007, the UAE became the first country in the Middle East and Africa region to approve the prescription of Champix, a non-nicotine treatment to help smokers quit. In the same year, the country also set up two smoking cessation clinics to help people overcome the habit.
“All registered members will be provided with a comprehensive personalized smoking cessation plan, free medical advice and free treatment on how to quit smoking. There will also be general physical checkups by the doctors,” Mariam Matar, assistant under-secretary of the health ministry, said at the time.