Saudi Tackling Tobacco

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Fraser Clarke

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has followed World Health Organisation advice by launching a nationwide survey on tobacco use.

Targeting 12,800 respondents over the next two months, hopes are high that the results will allow the Saudi Government to implement more successful strategies aimed at reducing tobacco use in the Desert Kingdom.

The most recent statistics have shown that around 12% of Saudis over the age of 15 regularly smoke tobacco - a figure slightly below that of the UK and UAE, but still above Qatar.

Estimates suggest that smoking costs the global healthcare market more than $420bn annually, making it vital that rates continue to drop.

Along with the WHO survey, Saudi Arabia has also been proactive on its own, introducing a smartphone application that allows users to report people for smoking in public areas, or any shops that sell cigarettes to children.

As well as this nationwide strategies have also been introduced to raise awareness of the health issues caused by tobacco consumption, with hopes high that the Kingdom will be able to stub out the habit in the not too distant future.

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