Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dubai targets women smokers

The Gulf Today, 27 May 2010

THE emirate of Dubai targets women smokers, as their number has increased at 14 per cent of the total smokers in the UAE.
This was announced by Dubai Municipality (DM) on Wednesday when it launched a fresh campaign titled "Tobacco-free Women," at Mall of the Emirates in line with the world no-tobacco day that falls on May 31.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has chosen the theme of this year as "Gender and tobacco, with an emphasis on marketing to women," with a focus on women who are targeted by the tobacco companies to promote their products.
The global anti-tobacco day this year focuses on combating the habit of smoking among women and girls, as their share is comprised of about 20 per cent of the world's total smokers, accounted at over a billion.
The Dubai Municipality is hosting a series of events and activities specially designed for the occasion of the world no-tobacco day. The opening day activities kicked off at 5pm at Mall of the Emirates, which went up to 9pm.
A senior civic officer said that women are also subjected to passive smoking, which is especially dangerous to pregnant women. There is an increase in the number of women smokers in the UAE - especially Shisha smokers.
"The tobacco-free women programme aims at raising awareness on the effects of passive smoking on women, as well as women who smoke in general and pregnant women in particular, while addressing its effects on the health of the foetus and the skin," said a DM spokesperson.
"The campaign will educate women and the public on the dangers of smoking and its negative effects on women and society, and emphasise the importance of a healthy lifestyle for the targeted segment based on healthy habits, food and sports," he added. "It will highlight the efforts of the civic body in providing free medical checks to the public and smokers and creating awareness to stop smoking."
The DM's campaign included activities such as a competition on quitting smoking, during which people who want to quit smoking registered their names in the special forms. The programme will be followed up by the DM's clinic section and a speciality hospital. Details will be announced later on the DM's official web portal.
Meanwhile, the DM will coordinate with the petrol pumps where the staff will wear team shirts of the occasion, and through these stations, leaflets will be distributed to the public, said the spokesperson.
"And for the first time, sales of cigarettes will be stopped for 24 hours on May 31 in petrol stations of Emarat, ENOC and EPPCO and the drivers of the DM vehicles will also be banned from cigarette smoking," he said.
"A mobile awareness exhibition is also being organised, where people will be offered free medical consultations under the supervision of doctors including a gynaecologist, a general practitioner and a skin expert," he added.
"The free examinations include examination of carbon monoxide, examination of the skin to see how dry or flexible they are, examination of the lung to find out how strong it is, and examination of the eye to see how dry they are because of the smoking," explained the DM spokesperson.
According to him, the free medical examinations in Mall of the Emirates will continue until May 28 and free medical checks and medical advice will be offered to smokers and non-smokers among the visitors to the mall.
Similar activities will be arranged at the Dubai Mall on May 29, and on May 30 at Dubai Ladies Club. In addition to the exhibition, free medical check-ups will be offered to members of the women's association branches at Al Towar and Al Barsha.
The DM also organises a symposium as conclusion of the campaign at 10am on May 31 at the City Hall in the Municipality. The winners in the contest to quit smoking will also be honoured there.

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