500 businesses sign up for no-smoking day

About 500 petrol stations, shops and supermarkets across Dubai will voluntarily refrain from selling tobacco for 24 hours until midnight on Saturday.
Every year, businesses are encouraged by Dubai Municipality to stop the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products on May 31 in support of the World Health Organisation’s annual anti-tobacco initiative. Sarah Dea / The National
Every year, businesses are encouraged by Dubai Municipality to stop the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products on May 31 in support of the World Health Organisation’s annual anti-tobacco initiative. Sarah Dea / The National

About 500 petrol stations, shops and supermarkets across Dubai will voluntarily refrain from selling tobacco from midnight on Friday night until midnight on Saturday.

The campaign is part of Dubai Municipality’s annual initiative for World No Tobacco Day on Saturday.

Every year, businesses are encouraged by Dubai Municipality to stop the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products on May 31 in support of the World Health Organisation’s annual anti-tobacco initiative to tackle what it says is one of the biggest public health threats the world has yet faced.

Tobacco kills about six million people worldwide every year. Of these, 600,000 are non-smokers breathing in second-hand smoke.

“Unless we act, the epidemic will kill more than eight million people every year by 2030,” said Marwan Al Mohammed, the director of the public health and safety department at the municipality.

“More than 80 per cent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low and middle-income countries. The ultimate goal of World No Tobacco Day is to contribute to protecting present and future generations.

“Not only from the devastating health consequences due to tobacco but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.”

Dubai Municipality’s annual initiative aims to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco, which can increase the risk of heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Ahmad Saeed Al Naqaz, public safety officer and campaign coordinator at Dubai Municipality, said it is the fifth consecutive year that the municipality has held the Dubai Without Tobacco Day.

“This year we have prepared a range of programmes and activities with the support of participating shops and entities in most strategic locations of Dubai, such as big malls, cinemas, hypermarkets,” he said.

Participants include Emirates, Enoc and EPPCO petrol stations, Spinneys, Waitrose, Carrefour, Choithrams and Lulu.

The Dubai Aquarium, Ski Dubai, Emirates Mall, Sky Dive Dubai and Vox Cinema are also supporting the drive, said Mr Al Naqaz.

The 24-hour initiative, from midnight on Friday, is part of a wide range of events taking place to encourage smokers to give up the habit.

jbell@thenational.ae

Published: May 29, 2014 04:00 AM

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