MOH Publications

Press Report on the world No Tobacco Day 2013
On the thirty-first of May of every year, the world Health Organization (WHO) is keen to celebrate the World No Tobacco Day, along with highlighting the key health risks associated with smoking tobacco, and calling for setting effective policies to reduce its consumption. This comes at a time when it is shown that tobacco smoking is one of the principal causes of death that can be thwarted globally; bearing in mind that smoking leads to a death of every ten adults worldwide.
Meanwhile, the topic of the World No Tobacco Day 2013 is entitled "together to ban all forms of advertising, sponsorship, and promotion for tobacco products", especially that the global tobacco epidemic causes the death of as close as six million people annually, of which there are more than 600 thousand non-smoking people dying off due to indirectly inhaling the cigarette smoke. Hence, if the necessary measures were not taken, this epidemic would claim the lives of more than eight million people annually, till 2030. On the other hand, 80 % of these preventable deaths occur among those living in the low and medium income countries.
Similarly, a report released by the Media Information and Health Awareness of the Ministry of Health (MOH) has shown that "more often than not, smokers are more likely to die compared to the non-smoking people, as tobacco smoke contains over 4000 known chemicals. Also, it is known that no less than 250 substances of which are detriment to health, and more than 50 substances of which cause cancer."
It is noteworthy to mention that tobacco smoke spread in the closed places is inhaled by all the people in these places, whether smokers or non-smokers; this in turn renders them all vulnerable for its harmful effects.
Within the same vein, estimates underlines that "over 700 million children, that's to say as many as half of almost the world's children, breathe tobacco-smoke-polluted air. It is worth-noticing that with regard to more than 40% of children, at least either parent is in the habit of smoking. And in 2004, children accounted for 31% of the total of the early deaths resulting from indirectly inhaling tobacco smoke, amounting to 600 thousand deaths."
Further, the report of the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center mentioned that the indirect tobacco smoke "is instrumental to inflicting adults with the cardiovascular diseases and serious respiratory diseases, including Coronary artery disease and lung cancer. Moreover, the tobacco smoke leaves the breast-fed infants vulnerable for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and causes harm to the pregnant women, leading to the low birth weight (LBW) of their infants."
As for the prime objectives and general messages of the World No Tobacco Day, the report of the MOH's Media information and Health Awareness underscored that "the ultimate goal of the World No Tobacco Day lies in contributing to not only protecting the current and next generations against these devastating health consequences, but also against the social, environmental, and economic pitfalls of smoking tobacco and exposing to its smoke. And the main two objectives of 2013 campaign are to call on countries to implement article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention and its guidelines, imposing inclusive ban over the advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco, to the effect that the number of people soon-to-be smokers and inveterate smokers get reduced. It is also to mobilize the local, national, international efforts exerted to run counter the tobacco industry companies' attempts, aiming at undermine tobacco control, especially these companies' attempts to obstruct or suspend imposing inclusive ban measures over the advertising promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco."  
On this occasion, the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center, as usual, will rise to the occasion, and receive the inquiries and questions of citizens and residents on smoking and the diseases it causes, as well as helping out those seeking to stop short of this habit through providing them with the most successful ways and methods, Allah willing. Therefore, a host of specialists are to be recruited to answer the questions of callers and the interested, through the toll-free line: 8002494444, assigned by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to inquire and know plenty of information that matters the sick and the healthy alike.
Also, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has prepared a full set of tweets, images, and videos tackling the topic of smoking in so detailed a way as to the great significance of the topic, which you can follow all via the MOH's account on the Twitter social network @SAUDIMOH.
Within this vein, the Deputy Minister of Public Health, Dr.  Ziad Memish has pointed out that what the scourge of tobacco poses of health-related, economic, and social harm to the individual, family, and community is known, and has been proven by all facts, studies, and researches. And the scourge of tobacco has become a source for a spate of diseases and plights, not only for smokers but also for non-smokers who are exposed to the toxic smoking fumes, sent out by smokers; the so-called passive smoking.
He went on to add that the tobacco companies adopt several ways and tricks to entice youth and youngsters. At times, they sponsor some sporting youth activities, and at other times they entice movie stars into smoking in all their artistic works. However, whatever the plans and tricks of tobacco companies are, Allah willing, we can protect our youth and the community members of their poisons. This is through the constant education of youth and community members on the physical, psychological, social, and economic harm of smoking using all the effective means, and the citizen's adherence to their right in preventing whoever smokes around them; in order to render smoking a socially outcast phenomenon. We are also to issue new legislatures, and put the former ones into effect, which are meant to tighten the noose around the tobacco companies, and to prevent them from keeping on spreading their poisons, namely among youths and youngsters. Among these legislatures are full ban over direct and indirect publicity and advertisements for tobacco products in all mass media, imposing ban over selling tobacco to youngsters, prohibiting cafes serving shisha and tobacco outlets in the places frequented by youths and within cities, banning smoking in public places, and accommodating all the smoking youths with smoking cessation programs that help them quit tobacco products addiction and hold out a hand for them; to be able to set free from it altogether.
For his part, the Assistant Undersecretary for the Primary Health Care Dr. Muhammad Ba-sulieman made clear that "tobacco consumption spread results in dire consequences over health and squandering funds which go in vain in tobacco cost and getting treated from its ailments and  the serious diseases caused by it which lead to dissipating human and materialistic energy. Hence, all efforts should be combined and work hand in hand with all sectors according to a national, inclusive strategy, through which they diminish the risks of this epidemic and its negative impact on our community, and limit its spread among youth generations. Thus, the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) is a general international treaty aiming at reducing the burden of diseases and deaths resulting from tobacco consumption. And such a treaty, having been passed in 2003, has become as an international constitution for tobacco control.
All the more, the Supervisor-General of the MOH Smoking Control Program, Dr. Ali Alwada'ai has pointed out that "the WHO's theme, this year, bears several meanings that must be considered, and exert every effort to put them into effect, and create programs implemented by the governmental and civil bodies and the health associations and organizations. It also urges into exerting effort and working earnestly and assiduously; in order to protect citizens, especially youths and youngsters, against the tactics, tricks, and gimmicks of the tobacco companies, which work hard via their advertising and marketing means to entice those youths into becoming tobacco products addicts."

And as part of its contributions to curbing the spread of this phenomenon, the Ministry of Health (MOH), through the Smoking Control Program, carries out diverse activities such as educating through the health printed materials, audio and visual means, holding exhibits, lectures, and seminars across the Kingdom's regions, doing researches and studies, and training those working in the smoking treatment centers.

Last Update : 15 September 2013 08:24 AM
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