• 5/2/2018

    As part of efforts to discourage people from taking up the habit of tobacco use and helping smokers to quit, Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center has launched an anti-smoking campaign in local schools and businesses. Launched earlier this year, during April the campaign included visits to Maymouna Primary Independent School for Girls, Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s career fair, and beIN Sports.

    Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center, said his team provides educational materials and answers questions about the dangers of tobacco use as part of its anti-smoking outreach program. He says the program 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 to promote both the dangers of smoking and the benefits of quitting,” said Dr. Al Mulla.

    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 says his team is not only urging businesses in Qatar to help their employees give up the habit but it is also helping them by offering 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. Through partnering with local businesses, we are working to improve public health by decreasing the number of adults in Qatar who smoke,” said Dr. Al Mulla.

    He added that the campaign is about working in new ways and developing new links with local schools and businesses to reach more people. Dr. Al Mulla says the Tobacco Control Center offers support that is tailored to each individual’s specific needs. He says smoking cessation experts address not only the use of cigarettes but also other popular forms of tobacco such as chewing tobacco (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 discussed.