(MENAFN- Gulf Times) HMC's Tobacco Control Center, a WHO Collaborating Center, has joined the world in celebrating the World No Tobacco Day, observed annually on May 31. This year's theme, 'We Need Food, Not Tobacco' was set by WHO to highlight the impact of tobacco cultivation in the world.
Dr Ahmad al-Mulla, director of the Tobacco Control Center, said that Qatar has been a pioneer in the field of combating smoking.
“Qatar is one of the countries that do not encourage the cultivation of tobacco or manufacturing of tobacco products. Qatar contributes to reducing the spread of tobacco use by entering into international agreements on tobacco control, developing and implementing several tobacco control policies and legislations, opening several smoking cessation clinics, raising public awareness on the harmful effects of smoking through awareness campaigns and events, as well as by promoting research in the field of tobacco control,” he said.
Dr al-Mulla explained that HMC's Tobacco Control Center plays an effective role in reducing the prevalence of tobacco use in Qatar by benefiting from its status as a WHO Collaborating Center to promote efforts to combat tobacco usage, and by focusing on scientific research in the field of tobacco control.
“We also focus on treatment services with the opening of many clinics to help smokers quit through medication and behavioural therapy and we continue our efforts to raise public awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco products through awareness events and workshops,” he said.
This year, HMC will mark the World No Tobacco Day with a series of education and awareness events to raise public awareness of the harmful impact of smoking on health, economic and social levels. The events will focus on the theme of this year's World No Tobacco Day and show how smoking has wasted many efforts and funds that could have been better invested in producing all types of food for many people across the world.
Dr al-Mulla stressed on the importance of the tobacco control legislations that Qatar has adopted, including the amended Amiri Law No. 10 of 2016 on the control of tobacco and its derivates, which included the amendments to Amiri Law No. 20 of 2002.
“This law has placed Qatar at the forefront in combating smoking and has banned manufacturing and marketing of various tobacco products, including new tobacco products such as nicotine bags, electronic waterpipe (shisha), and heated tobacco products. Other laws have also been issued to support the ban on smoking in closed public places and workplaces. The government also raised the prices of tobacco products in 2019 to reduce tobacco use and encourage more smokers to quit,” he said.
Dr al-Mulla urged all smokers to take action towards quitting and to make use of the Tobacco Control Center's services by calling 50800959 or 16060.
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