The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulatory body of health care sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, announced today a comprehensive plan to combat tobacco use in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The program slogan is “Abu Dhabi Says No to Smoking”.
The program help smokers to quit smoking through creating a smoke free environment as per the Federal Law on Tobacco Control number 15/ 2009.
To meet the objectives of the program, a Task Force consisting of General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Abu Dhabi Media, Abu Dhabi Educational Council, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Department of Economic Development, Takatuf Voluntary Social program, community Police, and the Environment Agency was formed.
H.E. Eng. Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of HAAD: “Smoking in its different forms is responsible for major public health illnesses worldwide; it is responsible for Cardio Vascular diseases, and many cancer cases. Due to its increasing danger on individuals and community, the Government of the UAE have issued the Federal Law on Tobacco Control number 15/ 2009.”
“Based on this law, the joint task force will work together, each according to their specialty, to implement and enforce the law, by controlling and monitoring tobacco use, protecting people from tobacco smoke, helping smokers to quit, issue warnings on tobacco risks, and implementing a ban on tobacco advertisement and promotion.”
According to HAAD statistics the smoking rate within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi ranges between 24-35%. According to Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi about 55% of smokers smoke cigarettes, 38% smoke Medwakh, 29% smoke shisha and 14% smoke cigars. In addition, the Global School Health Survey for 2010 found that 80% of students’ had already tried smoking.
The Federal Law on Tobacco Control number 15/ 2009 forbids smoking in private cars when there is a child passenger who does not exceed the age of 12 years, forbids smoking in all places of worship and educational institutions such as universities and schools, health and sports facilities. It also forbids the sale of candy products which resemble tobacco products, forbids automatic vending equipment and devices for tobacco distribution inside the country.
It also enforces a fine on tobacco advertisement ranges from AED 100,000 to 1,000,000 and a fine for smoking in public places and selling tobacco products to individuals below 18 years ranges from AED 500 to 10,000.
“Abu Dhabi says No Smoking” is the fruit of mutual cooperation between Health Authority-Abu Dhabi and “In House Hospital” website www.inhousehospital.com. The website will provide health news, articles, advice and subjects relevant to smoking in Arabic and English. Such material includes rich scientific contents and various pictures that may help smokers quit. The website also organizes various discussions about smoking through health forums to make people aware of smoking risks.
The website is intended to present medicine in a social healthy perspective thus opening new health horizons in the health medical information available on the internet. It also helps people share their health experience so that everybody can make use of others’ experience without a commercial or financial goal thus allowing visitors to share ideas transparently in the forums which in turn will be useful for all society classes. The website also has a full guide of doctors, hospitals and private clinics all over world.