Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has signed a deal with Riyadh based medical technology installation group Al-Kaws, aimed at increasing public awareness around the issues caused by smoking, and helping Saudis to beat the habit.
The deal means that 31 new anti-smoking clinics will be set up and provided by the two groups, with these based in venues inside health centres and hospitals Kingdom wide. At the new clinics patients will be placed on a three month treatment plan and, after this has been completed, they will be considered a former smoker.
Recent statistics have shown that as many as 70,000 Saudi nationals die as a result of smoking tobacco each year. To try and reduce this figure the Kingdom’s government has already introduced a heavy excise tax on cigarettes, that almost doubles the price of them in an attempt to deter people from the habit.
Now, by providing support to current smokers who are willing to quit, the Saudi MoH hopes that it can further reduce rates - reducing the burden placed on healthcare providers in the country by smokers as a result.
A press release announcing the new partnership said: "Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah signed the agreement with Al-Kaws at his ministerial office to complete financing of the Anti-Smoking Clinics Complex in Abha today (Sunday 20/8)".
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