Qatar Marks World No-Tobacco Day
Qatar will join the world in celebrating the World No-Tobacco Day, which is observed annually on May 31. The World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen Tobacco: Threat to our environment as a theme for this year’s World No-Tobacco Day to put more focus on the damage caused to the environment in all stages of tobacco production and use, including its cultivation, manufacturing, smoking, and disposal of tobacco product waste.
Commenting on how Qatar’s environment is free of tobacco pollutants, HE Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari explained that tobacco smoke pollution is almost non-existent in Qatar, as there is no tobacco cultivation or manufacturing of tobacco products in the country. HE the Minister added that Qatar has strict legislations that ban smoking in indoor spaces, including all stadiums and sports facilities. The government also places the efforts to combat smoking among the priorities of the Ministry of Public Health's strategy for sustainable development.
Her Excellency indicated that Qatar’s participation as a member of the Global Convention on Tobacco Control and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and its active participation at the Conference of the Parties to the Framework on Tobacco Control, helps limit the adverse impact of smoking on the community and the environment.
Her Excellency added that the concerned parties will continue to work in the future with local authorities to ensure all legislations and regulations pertaining to tobacco control are implemented in Qatar. These efforts will help reduce the negative effects of smoking and ensure that Qatar remains among the best countries in the region in the field of protecting the population and the environment from secondhand and thirdhand smoke.
"Qatar has provided all necessary capabilities to help smokers quit this harmful habit through HMCs Tobacco Control Center, a WHO Collaborating Center. We have also opened smoking cessation clinics in our primary health care centers as we believe that offering treatment for smokers can reduce health and economic burdens on them, their families, and on the entire health system," HE the Minister of Public Health said.
Commenting on the efforts being made to curb the spread of the harmful habit of smoking in Qatar and reduce the polluting impact of toxic components of tobacco products on the environment, Dr. Ahmed Al Mulla, Head of HMC's Tobacco Control Center, explained that any visitor to Qatar can easily notice an effective smoke-free environment in public transportation, malls, public and private institutions, schools, universities, and stadiums. Dr. Al Mulla expressed hope for a more comprehensive ban to include other places, such as public parks and marine parks. He also called for a process to discourage those who throw cigarette butts in the streets and parks from doing this practice.
Dr. Al Mulla explained that in addition to the regular activities of HMCs Tobacco Control Center, including helping smokers to quit and holding awareness campaigns and programs at schools and universities, the Center will mark this year’s World No-Tobacco Day by organizing a number of activities, including the signing of joint cooperation protocols on tobacco control with a number of government agencies and treatment centers. The Center will also hold awareness activities for several organizations in the country.
Source : QNA