Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) has launched an electronic campaign, Time to Quit, in connection with World No Tobacco Day and as a preventive measure to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Hadi Abu Rasheed, head of Professional Development and Scientific Research Department, QCS said “Qatar has made great progress on tobacco control in recent years. However, people continue to die and become sick needlessly, and the cost to society from tobacco use continues to mount.”

According to the estimation and statistics of The Tobacco Atlas, Dr Hadi said, in Qatar, every year, about 312 people are killed by tobacco-caused diseases.

The societal harm and economic cost of smoking in Qatar amounts to QR801mn. This includes direct costs related to healthcare expenditures and indirect costs related to lost productivity due to early mortality and morbidity.

Even though fewer people die from tobacco in Qatar than several other countries, tobacco still kills five men every week and 32 women every year. One out of five people used tobacco daily in Qatar in 2015, and one out of seven in 2016.

“Even though fewer people use smokeless tobacco on average in Qatar, 28,800 people still currently use smokeless tobacco, indicating an ongoing public health challenge, including heightened levels of oral cancers. Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded pieces of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 927 tonnes of butts and packs wind up as toxic trash in Qatar each year,” added Dr Rasheed.

He also noted that this year’s WHO’s World No Tobacco Day campaign focuses on protecting children and young people from exploitation by the tobacco and related industry.

According to the estimation and statistics of The Tobacco Atlas 1.09% of male children (10–14 years) are using tobacco daily in Qatar according to 2015 estimates.

Even though fewer male children (10–14 years) smoke in Qatar, there are still more than 100 female children who use tobacco daily, according to the statistics.

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