The findings of a new survey on the prevalence of smoking and the use of other tobacco products in the country will be released soon, an official from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has revealed.
“We are in the process of finalising the findings of our latest survey on smoking prevalence in Qatar. We expect to release the outcomes of the survey very soon. We have co-ordinated with some renowned organisations and the survey will help us in forming our strategies for future course of action,” Dr Ahmad al-Mulla, head of the Tobacco Control Center, HMC, told Gulf Times recently.
“A previous survey on tobacco use had found out that around 37% of the people in the country use tobacco products. The tobacco users are mostly in the age category of 18-40 years. Since then, we have adopted a number of measures to fight the challenge of smoking and it has resulted in very good outcomes. We are eagerly waiting for the results of this survey to form our strategies,” explained Dr al-Mulla.
According to Dr al-Mulla, the anti-smoking awareness programmes are helping people to either quit smoking or refrain from starting the practice. “We organise a number of outreach programmes to raise awareness among the community members. We conduct the programmes in schools, colleges as well as in public places. The response we are getting from our target groups is very encouraging and positive,” added Dr al-Mulla.
“We are also getting more visitors at our smoking cessation clinic. More people are coming to us due to our outreach activities as well as the various awareness programmes. In recent years, more people have started realising the dangers of smoking and the harm it can cause to the human body, resulting in deadly diseases,” the official pointed out.
Silva Kouyoumjian, clinical research co-ordinator at the Tobacco Control Center, said the facility is conducting research on the use of tobacco in the country and organising various workshops to enable people to quit smoking.
The research partners include international organisations such as the World Health Organisation East Mediterranean Regional Office, Weill Cornell Medicine - New York and Qatar, College of Pharmacy at Qatar University, and others.
“There are several findings that connect smoking to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. However, there is no such study that connects the use of water pipe to such diseases. Such studies are emerging in recent years. Some studies show that there were epigenetic changes among shisha smokers and the participants in the study were light users of shisha. More studies are under way in this regard, “said Kouyoumjian.
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