To discourage people from taking up the habit of tobacco use and help smokers quit, the Tobacco Control Centre of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has launched an anti-smoking campaign in local schools and businesses. Launched in April, the campaign included visits to Maymouna Primary Independent School for Girls, the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Career Fair, and beIN Sports.
HMC Tobacco Control Centre Head Dr Ahmad Al Mulla said his team provides educational materials and answers questions about the dangers of tobacco use as part of its anti-smoking outreach programme. He said that the programme focuses on the dangers of smoking tobacco products and the negative health impact of second-hand smoke.
Smoking can cause narrowing of the arteries, coronary heart disease, and stomach and lung cancer. It can lead to higher blood sugar levels, chronic headaches, insomnia, and kidney damage. Quitting smoking has various health benefits and our team focuses on helping promote both the dangers of smoking and the benefits of quitting.’
As part of an effort to target local businesses, a session was also held for employees of the local sports channel, beIN Sports. Dr Al Mulla said his team is not only urging businesses in Qatar to help their employees give up the habit, but also offers them advice on developing workplace smoking policies and regulations.
Our smoking cessation experts talk to employees about the risks associated with tobacco use and the benefits of quitting. Smoking is bad for business and employers understand the benefits of helping their employees quit. Tobacco use costs businesses money in lost productivity through cigarette breaks and increased absence due to ill health. By partnering with local businesses, we are working to decrease the number of adults who smoke in Qatar.’
Dr Al Mulla emphasised that the campaign is about developing new links with local schools and businesses to reach more people. He said that the Tobacco Control Centre offers support that is tailored to individual needs. Smoking cessation experts address not only the use of cigarettes but also the use of other forms of tobacco such as the Swedish Snus and a tobacco product mixed with aromatic leaf and bark herbs – Midwakh or Dokha. The negative effects of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems are also included in the campaign.