Dubai to help smokers

Dubai A public campaign is under way in Dubai to help smokers who wish to quit but cannot because of their addiction to tobacco.

Visitors to parks across the emirates will be given free medical checks and awareness booklets about the hazards of smoking which kills millions of people across the globe.

A senior Dubai Municipality official said smoking shisha has been banned in public parks for the past two years. “We are waiting for the law [to be brought into force] to ban smoking in public places completely,” said Mohammad Ali Fardan, Head of Public Parks at the Dubai Municipality.

He told Gulf News that people were ruining the parks by smoking shishas and dumping the burned tobacco on the grass.

The UAE has already banned smoking in closed spaces such as offices, shopping malls, universities and places of worship, and it is also a crime to smoke with a child in a car.

The free medical checks are being provided by DM health care group in cooperation with Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality

The awareness campaigns and free clinics will move across the various parks of Dubai over the coming months.

‘Strong message’

Dr Azad Moopen, chairman of the group, said that if each of us were able to convert one smoker into a non-smoker, thousands would be saved from various cancers and the ill effects of tobacco. “Let this city which has always been in the forefront, send out a strong message against smoking,” he said.

He said it was common knowledge that tobacco smoke contained 70 toxic chemicals which causes cancer.

But people are unable to quit as the nicotine’s effects reaches the brain rapidly, he said. Dr Moopen said the good news was that the younger generation was aware of the hazards of smoking. “Those smoking now are the older people,” he said.

He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the launch of the campaign at Zabeel Park on Thursday. It was attended by Dr Ahmad Kalban, CEO of primary health care at the DHA.

Dr Kalban said there was a need to change the behaviour of some people to help create a healthier society.

A number of Gulf News readers said they needed help to quit but were unable do so on their own.

Gulf News has initially chosen five readers who are now undergoing counselling by doctors at the DM health care group. Gulf News will soon choose more readers who wish to quit and pass their names to our partner for counselling and advice.

2 months

loss in lifespan annually of people who smoke one pack a day

87%

lung cancer deaths caused by tobacco use

20%

sugar content in a single cigarette. Do you want to quit? Call 04 4400500 or write to notobacco@dmhealthcare.com to register yourself or refer a friend for counselling services. You can also email readers@gulfnews.com

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