2010 Blog
It is About Time to Set Regulations to Fight Smoking
29 August 2010
Smoking phenomena became a major concern due to its health, economical and social effects. Studies confirmed that this phenomena causes dangerous diseases such as cancer, infertility, heart and lungs diseases.
 
In addition of isolating the smoker socially because of the bad smell and diseases resulted from sitting with smokers (compulsory smoking). As for the smoking economical effects, a Saudi statistical, presented by Customs Department, shows that tobacco imports to the Kingdom amounted to 10 billion SR. Financial  losses for the treatment of diseases caused by smoking has reached (5) billion riyals, according to the Ministry of Health statistics. In addition of 6296 fire incidents during the last 3 years according to Civil Defense statistics.   
 
In spite of the bad effects of smoking on the environment and human rights, the anti-smoking efforts are still below the required level. Unfortunately, the low price of cigarette in the kingdom encourages smoking.
 
These studies are considered as an alert to deal with this phenomenon seriously which threats our human and economical resources. In my point of views, this issue can not be resolved only by rehabilitation programs. It must be accompanied with rules and regulations that criminate smokers.   
 
Although smokers read and memorize "No Smoking" sign, but they still smoke in public places without any concern about others who are against smoking. Such people won't respond to rehabilitation programs and must be stopped by legislations.     
 
Ireland, Norway, Uruguay and Italy, implemented anti-smoking regulations in closed and public areas, especially in restaurants and coffee shops. People in Canada, USA and Australia are protected from compulsory smoking based on governmental and local anti-smoking regulations. Uruguay and other countries   experiments proved that any country can prohibit smoking and achieve significant results. 
 
The Kingdom issued a set of anti-smoking royal instructions (in public areas). However many sectors didn’t respond to these regulations. Therefore, it is time for Shura Council to set anti-smoking regulations criminates who promotes smoking or smokes in public areas in order to prevent this unhealthy phenomena.
      
Anti-smoking Association General Secretary
Mr. Suleiman AL Sabi 
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