This is the only time you can be a let go and win – Middle East & Gulf News


Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and smoking is the cause of more than 8 million deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Low- and middle-income countries pay a disproportionate price because they account for over 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users.

The Eastern Mediterranean region has a relatively high number of tobacco users and this number is growing rapidly.

The global tobacco market was valued at $ 730 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a rate of 3.78% during the forecast period to reach $ 908 billion by 2026.

Your heart might let go, unless you do

Only 48% of men who admitted to smoking in a recent heart health survey commissioned by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi said they would consider quitting because of the increased risk of heart attack caused by the habit.

Smoking is more common among men than among women. Several lifestyle studies in the United Arab Emirates reveal that around 24% of men in the country are smokers, with the highest prevalence being among people aged 20 to 39.

New data from the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi shows that 1/3e of all patients treated for a major heart attack in hospital in the past 3 years were smokers or former smokers, the majority of whom were men. Almost 90% of lung cancer cases seen in hospitals are also caused by smoking.

Other long-term effects of smoking include an increased risk of stroke and brain damage, respiratory diseases including asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), eye disease, diabetes and problems with reproduction.

“Smoking damages almost every organ in the body and takes many years of a patient’s life. It is one of the most common causes of preventable death worldwide. In the UAE, people are not only addicted to cigarettes, but they also have access to other forms of tobacco such as shisha and medwakh, which are equally harmful. This is a growing concern, especially among young people, ”said Dr Zaid Zoumot, section chief of pulmonology at the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Dr Zoumot says people become addicted to the nicotine in tobacco, which contains several cancer-causing chemicals. When a person smokes tobacco, they are exposed to harmful compounds, including tar which affects lung tissue, carbon monoxide which reduces the supply of oxygen to organs, and oxidizing chemicals which damage heart muscles and Blood vessels.

“Nicotine rapidly increases the number of harmful fats including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and reduces the amount of HDL or good cholesterol, dramatically increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke in smokers. Regularly smoking between one and five cigarettes a day considerably increases the risk of a heart attack, ”explains Dr Zoumot.

“A person who quits smoking will immediately see a change in their health. Within 20 minutes of quitting, their blood pressure and heart rate drop and within a year, they will have halved their risk of having a heart attack and lung cancer, ”concludes Dr Zoumot.

Stopping will save you

Here is what you can expect when you quit smoking at www.quit.com: After six hours of quitting, your heart rate slows down and your blood pressure becomes more stable. After a day, your body is almost nicotine free. But it takes 2 weeks to reconnect your brain to not craving nicotine.

Within 24 hours, your risk of a heart attack decreases as your blood becomes thinner and less likely to clot. After three to six months, your lungs will start to work better. In two to five years your risk of heart disease will decrease, and in ten to 15 years the risk of lung cancer, heart attack or stroke will be similar to that of a person who has never smoked. .

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates want you to quit

Saudi Arabia, with a population of over 34 million, has taken a number of steps to combat the habit. These include increasing sales taxes and fines, conducting anti-smoking campaigns, establishing smoking cessation clinics, and introducing dedicated mobile apps.

“Saudi Arabia has an ambitious tobacco control strategic plan to reduce smoking rates from 12.7% to 5% by 2030,” said Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Saudi Minister of Health , cited in 2019.

In 2017, the Saudi National Committee for Tobacco Control imposed a 100% excise tax on all tobacco products and banned smoking in public spaces, including shopping malls, parks and workplaces. .

In addition, the Saudi Ministry of Health has expanded its specialist clinics to 900 locations across the country.

Data from 2019 showed an increase in clinic visits of 213%, a decrease in tobacco imports of 54% and a 307% increase in the number of people quitting smoking.

The UAE authorities have set a target of reducing tobacco consumption from 21.6% to 15.7% among men and from 1.9% to 1.66% among women by the end of the year. the year.

By far the most common form of tobacco consumption in the United Arab Emirates is cigarettes (77.4%), followed by the consumption of midwakh (a small pipe used to smoke tobacco) at 15%, water pipes to 6.8% and cigars at 0.66%.

United Arab Emirates Excise Tax Rate

  • 100% tobacco products
  • 100% electronic smoking devices
  • 100% of liquids used in these devices and tools

The Oman Medical Journal study found that in the United Arab Emirates, smoking prevalence rates were highest among Arab expatriates (31.9%), followed by non-Arab expatriates (22.6%) and Emirati (21.6%).

Electronic cigarettes are a healthier alternative, but they’re also harmful because they produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavors, and other chemicals that help make the aerosol. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs. Spectators are also at risk of inhaling this aerosol when the user exhales through the air.

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