UAE urges smokers to quit and avoid Covid complications

Warning includes traditional and electronic nicotine products

A dark and high contrast image of a young adult male has a cloud of nicotine vapor "smoke" pouring from his mouth.  Vape smoking, or "vaping" is growing in popularity, as well as falling under stricter state and governmental regulations.  Horizontal image with copy space.
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The UAE on Sunday urged all smokers and users of tobacco products to quit and avoid serious health complications from Covid-19.

The warning came on World No Tobacco Day 2021 and includes traditional smoking and vaping, as advised by the World Health Organisation.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the UAE had "shouldered its responsibility to support international efforts being made in this respect by joining the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control".

It announced a new national committee for tobacco control and the imposition of a tax on tobacco and its derivatives.

The new measures are the latest in a series of initiatives by the UAE to curtail tobacco use in the country.

These include 16 quit-smoking clinics in primary healthcare centres, and a mobile clinic.

The ministry has also developed a training programme for doctors who provide services for smokers who want to give up, and to align with internationally approved treatments.

A recent National Health Survey showed a decline in the smoking rate among men and women in the UAE, in a testament to the success of its campaign.

Among the health problems smoking causes are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and mental disorders.

Dealing with these places a substantial economic burden on healthcare systems, stressing the importance of the UAE's anti-smoking work.

There are also indirect costs from poor productivity and sick leave among workers.