Doha, 23 February 2023: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center has organized a training workshop on how to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use and smoking among school students in Qatar. The training program was held as part of the Center’s efforts to prevent tobacco smoking in educational institutions and in the community in general and was dedicated to psychological counselors, social workers, and nursing staff from several preparatory and secondary public schools across Qatar. The workshop was held on Monday, February 20th at the La Cigale Hotel in the presence of Dr. Rayana Bou Haka, the WHO's Representative to Qatar; Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health; Dr. Kholoud Al Mutawa, Head of the Non-communicable Diseases Department at the Ministry of Public Health; and Ms. Fatima Al Obaidli, Head of Activities and Programs Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of HMC's Tobacco Control Center said the workshop was aimed at providing participants with the necessary information and skills to enable them to effectively contribute to combating smoking and tobacco use in schools in Qatar and to help students who have fallen into the habit of smoking to quit. The latest studies showed that for many people, the age for starting smoking ranged from 12 to 15 years.
The workshop included lectures addressing several topics, such as the types of tobacco use and its prevalence in Qatar, the health effects of cigarette smoking and the use of tobacco products, the physiology of tobacco addiction, and the role of schools in preventing and limiting the spread of smoking. The workshop also offered a good opportunity to dispel misconceptions about smoking and tobacco use and to raise awareness among participants on how to deal with students who smoke and the factors affecting smoking initiation among students.
The workshop lectures were delivered by members of the Tobacco Control Center team, including Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the Tobacco Control Center; Ms. Noor El Nakib, Healthcare Services Administrator; Dr. Ahmad Abdullah and Dr. Jamal Ba Suhai, Smoking Cessation Specialists at HMC; and Dr. Ashour Ibrahim, Clinical Psychologist at HMC's Tobacco Control Center.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla stressed the importance of protecting present and future generations from the dangers of all kinds and forms of tobacco use. He urged to give a special focus on protecting young people from being influenced by tobacco companies that keep targeting the youth as an emerging and vulnerable market for their addictive products.
“Several training workshops of this kind will be held in the future to include private schools in the country as well to help raise healthy generations and protect our new generations from this harmful habit,” added Dr. Al Mulla.