• MOHAP urges smokers to quit and confirms that E-cigarette is subjected to tobacco control law
• The ministry launched numerous campaigns to raise public awareness about the health risks of tobacco use
• The National Health Survey revealed a decline in the prevalence of adult tobacco smoking from 11.1 percent in 2010 to 9.1 percent in 2018
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) joined the global celebration of the World No Tobacco Day, under the slogan “Tobacco. Threat to our environment”, reiterating its commitment to educating and warning the public about the health consequences of consuming tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and raise awareness about the economic development burdens it places on governments and societies.
E-cigarettes are prohibited in offices and closed spaces all across the UAE, and are subject to the Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control, which forbids and penalizes them, and its executive regulations.
The ministry stated that it has launched numerous awareness campaigns to raise public understanding about the health risks of tobacco use. These include the 'Smarter …than to start smoking' campaign, the 'I Quit... Now It's Your Turn' initiatives, and the 'Commit to Quit' and 'A Child at Home' campaigns to safeguard children from passive exposure to smoking.
'The UAE was one of the first countries to join the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), and as a result, established various legislations supporting tobacco control measures and international best practices in order to improve societal health,' the ministry said.
'Tobacco control has emerged as a top priority for MoHAP, and we have devised an integrated strategy through the National Tobacco Control Program,' the ministry stated, adding 'lowering cigarette and tobacco consumption has been adopted as a key performance indicator of the UAE National Agenda.'
According to the National Health Survey 2018, the prevalence of adult tobacco smoking has declined from 11.1 percent in 2010 to 9.1 percent in 2018. In addition, MoHAP collaborated with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to block specific websites that advertise and promote their electronic tobacco products.
Furthermore, it has initiated a training program to upskill and increase the capabilities of doctors in order to provide quality services that can assist smokers in quitting, based on a unified guideline consistent with the latest treatment approaches available globally.
The ministry also noted that it is working with the Gulf Health Council to execute the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in the Gulf countries.
The international occasion, World No Tobacco Day, is observed every year on May 31st to highlight the consequences of consuming tobacco products and what can be done to protect future generations from tobacco usage.