Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) new Tobacco Control Center has been officially inaugurated by HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari.

On the occasion, she highlighted that the new facility plays an important role in the fight to reduce increasing levels of smoking in the community and the long-term harmful effects of smoking.

“Nothing is more important for the prevention of several cancers and more than 50 other diseases than eliminating the use of tobacco products,” Dr al-Kuwari said.

“The new HMC Tobacco Control Center reinforces our commitment to implementing effective and long-lasting strategies for reducing tobacco use and providing accessible treatment options for people who want to stop smoking. This is especially important in Qatar, where we are seeing more young people smoking and using tobacco products,” she added.

“Smoking has been shown to harm nearly every organ of the body and science shows that most adult smokers start smoking during adolescence,” Dr Ahmad al-Mulla, head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center said. “Around 37% of the country’s population aged 15 years and above said they currently smoke tobacco. It is therefore important that we redouble our efforts to reduce levels of smoking in the community.”

The HMC Tobacco Control Center is located within Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City (Building 311). This will help to increase capacity and cater to a wider audience in the country through the provision of education, support, and treatment for those wanting to stop smoking. The facility sees around 1,200 new patients each year, with each attending around six follow-up appointments.

The HMC Tobacco Control Center has been officially designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the first Collaborating Centre in Qatar and the GCC. WHO Collaborating Centres, which also include research institutes and parts of universities or academies, are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the WHO’s mandated international health work.

“The HMC Tobacco Control Center’s expanded services include training for clinicians. This ensures the best quality care and healthcare management for smoking cessation in Qatar through the appropriate treatment as well as health awareness campaigns and messaging and scientific evidence-based research,” said Dr al-Mulla.

Related Story