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| 22 August, 2017

Saudi Health Ministry in deal to combat smoking

Photo used for illustrative purpose. A smoker holds his cigarette while standing next to an ashtray at a smoker's corner near the soccer stadium in Wolfsburg, Germany, April 6, 2016.    
IMAGE FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSE ONLY.

Photo used for illustrative purpose. A smoker holds his cigarette while standing next to an ashtray at a smoker's corner near the soccer stadium in Wolfsburg, Germany, April 6, 2016. IMAGE FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSE ONLY.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

22 August 2017
By RASHID HASSAN

RIYADH: The Health Ministry has signed a deal with Al-Kaws Development Technology to foster public awareness against smoking and help people quit.

“Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah signed the agreement with Al-Kaws at his ministerial office to complete financing of the Anti-Smoking Clinics Complex in Abha,” the ministry said Sunday.

Under the deal, the two parties will provide anti-smoking clinics for male and female smokers.

The 31 clinics in various health centers and hospitals in the Kingdom will offer therapeutic services for those wanting to quit smoking.

A treatment plan has been developed for a period of three months, after which the person is considered a former smoker.

Tobacco addiction is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. Smoking and other tobacco use kills more than 7 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization.

About 70,000 Saudis die annually from smoking-related diseases, according to Health Ministry statistics.

The price of cigarettes has been doubled in the Kingdom by an excise tax that became effective in June, in an effort to discourage their purchase.

Moreover, the ministry has allocated a sizable budget to the “No Tobacco Campaign” to foster public awareness on the dangers of using tobacco.

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© Arab News 2017