MOH News
Activities of the World No Tobacco Day Kick off
31 May 2016
Under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, and in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, the activities and accompanying events of the First World Conference on Tobacco Control have been launched today, Tuesday, and will last for two days. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH), represented by Tobacco Control Program, in collaboration with Riyadh Health Affairs General Directorate and the Regional Office of World Health Organization (WHO) at Riyadh Marriott Hotel (Makarim Hall), thus coinciding with the World No tobacco Day 2016, which is observed this year under the theme: “Get Ready for Plain Packaging”.
Bin Saeed has expressed his happiness to attend this first World Conference on Tobacco Control, which handles the issue of tobacco use, which is one of the biggest global health threats throughout history. Every year, it kills 6 million lives; more than 5 million of whom are smokers or former smokers and more than six hundred thousand are non-smokers, who are indirectly exposed to tobacco smoke. He also highlighted the importance of this conference, which coincides with celebration of the World No Tobacco Day.
Bin Saeed pointed out that the celebration of this day gives a strong boost to the process of smoking control worldwide, the matter which should not stop, highlighting the Kingdom's keenness on Tobacco Control, by means of taking regulatory procedures and providing preventive and therapeutic services to combat this threat.
 “The MOH, represented by the Agency of Public Health, has taken the first model of Tobacco Control Program, which activated the regulatory, preventive and therapeutic roles through 20 programs across the Kingdom’s regions and provinces according to a clear action plan, reflecting the final outcome of what has been achieved,” said bin Saeed.
Among the most important projects carried out by the MOH for 1437\2016 is to direct the preventive efforts to the young people stage, by means of the Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults Project. This project has been implemented at schools, and will be activated over the coming period, in collaboration with the school health, to set the basics of a permanent project, to be followed-up, assessed and impact measured. Also, the Ministry has carried out an expansion strategy through 100 clinics all over the regions and provinces of the Kingdom, which are linked electronically to provide a high quality service and a distinct efficiency. In addition, the Ministry has a pioneering experience in the Anti-Smoking Mobile Clinic Project, which provides treatment programs, medical counseling, health education and follow-up, free of charge, to various segments of the society at their places, given that the number of beneficiaries of this service, who have been registered electronically, are more than 42 thousand visitors until now, he added.
For his part, the Supervisor General of Tobacco Control Program at the Ministry, Dr. Ali Al-Wadei‘, said that the World No Tobacco Day is activated, with a view to contributing to the protection of the present and future generations, not only against the devastating health consequences of tobacco, but also against social, environmental and economic scourges caused by the use of tobacco or exposure to its smoke. The events combined between education and entertainment; as there were various awareness booths for educating and raising health awareness among the center's visitors, meanwhile there was also a theater, presenting several awareness entertaining scenes for children and a variety of contests, as well as awarding prizes to winners.
It should be noted that the conference aims at presenting policies and best applied models in the unified covers, analyzing the position of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the field of tobacco control, recognizing the gaps and setting priorities of Tobacco Control Program, and identifying the different bodies roles to achieve the full implementation of policies and reach the desired objectives of the program, in addition to showing the economic burden of tobacco use. The conference targets all health staff and people interested in the field of tobacco control. A number of international experts have participated in the conference and its accompanying sessions came from several countries, most prominently Egypt, Belgium, Turkey and Pakistan.
It is worth mentioning that a number of activities accompanying the conference will be held at Al-Othaim Mall (exit 14) on the occasion of the “World No Tobacco Day 2016”. This includes a lot of activities such as Anti-Smoking Mobile Clinic, which aims at reaching the largest number of smokers at their public spaces, meanwhile breaking the psychological barrier that may prevent the smoker from visiting the fixed clinic. The mobile clinic also provides for one month a full range of services at Al-Othaim Center, including awareness services, medical consulting, and therapeutic services, that is to be added to other activities, including theatrical performances, a variety of contests and awards, educational and entertaining scenes, a variety of shows and magic games, and a number of favorite cartoon characters for kids will be presented.

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