x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hundreds of Dubai shops to halt tobacco sales for 24 hours

The Dubai Without Tobacco Day has been supported by 34 groups and companies this year who have vowed to completely stop sales for 24 hours across 420 outlets.

DUBAI // More than 400 businesses, including petrol stations and supermarkets, will not sell tobacco today to mark World No Tobacco Day.

The voluntary move is part of Dubai Municipality’s initiative to mark the annual global health message.

Dubai Without Tobacco Day is being supported by 34 groups and companies this year who have vowed to completely stop the sale of all types of tobacco products in their 420 outlets for 24 hours.

Participants include Emarat, Enoc and Eppco petrol stations, Hyper Panda, Al Safeer, News Center, Kadoli, Spinneys, Waitrose, Carrefour, Zoom, Jian, Choithram, LuLu, Maya, Family, West Zone, J-Mart, Fresh Plus, Talal, Lifco, KM Trading, Baqer Mohabi, Shaklan, Sunrise, Galaxy, Wow Pinoy, Robison and Masco, plus five supermarkets in Hatta.

The 24-hour ban is part of a wide range of events taking place to encourage smokers to give up the habit.

Health Authority Abu Dhabi is holding several educational and awareness drives to promote the anti-tobacco message.

A workshop was held yesterday at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) to help smokers wanting to quit.

“Stopping smoking not only halts but also can reverse the biological damage caused by smoking,” said Dr Abdulmajeed Al Zubaidi, cardiologist and chief medical officer at SKMC.

“Stopping also improves treatment for diseases such as respiratory disease and lung cancer. After quitting, the smoking-related risk of heart-disease mortality can be cut almost in half.”

Health professionals will also be on hand today and tomorrow at Abu Dhabi Mall to hand out educational leaflets. Smokers can also get a free test to check the carbon monoxide levels in their blood.

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority is also launching an awareness campaign across 40 hotels in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region, designed to promote health and well-being.

Dubai Healthcare City has been holding anti-smoking activities this week, including supporting people who wish to quit, providing quit packs, patches, information and resources.

Dr Hanan Obaid, head of community health at Dubai Health Authority, said a number of anti-tobacco campaigns would be taking place today, including an educational awareness drive at Dubai Mall, where shoppers will be warned about the hazards of smoking.

In an attempt to discourage smokers, by law all cigarette packs should now carry graphic images warning of the damage tobacco can do to your health.

jbell@thenational.ae