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Smoking in United Arab Emirates

Current smoking trends for the overall adult population in the United Arab Emirates show an increase from 2000 (26%) to 2015 (29%), with a projected increase to around 31% by 2025. For women, smoking prevalence has been declining gradually year by year, from a low start at 2% in 2000 to 1.2% in 2015, and is projected to be around 0.9% by 2025. The overall upwards trend has been driven by men's current smoking prevalence: 34% of men were current smokers in 2000, increasing to 38% in 2015 and a projection of a further increase to 41.5% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust.

Read articles from United Arab Emirates

November 21, 2022 by

UAE doctors warn: E-cigarettes could be bringing back a dangerous habit by making smoking look cool

Doctors in the UAE are alarmed by how the youth are increasingly taking to e-cigarettes after targeted campaigns make them look cool. Their comments came after a study conducted in the US found that more adolescent e-cigarette users report vaping within five minutes of waking up.

According to the study published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, teens are getting addicted to e-cigarettes younger; with addictions being more intense.

Interestingly, between 2014 and 2017, less than one per cent of e-cigarette users reported using the devices within five minutes of waking up, while by 2021, the total drastically grew to 10.3 per cent.

July 18, 2022 by

E-cigarettes used by one in five university students in UAE, study finds

Nearly a quarter of students in the UAE used an e-cigarette in the past month, a study has found.

Research carried out at three universities in the country recorded higher vaping rates than other recent studies in the Emirates and elsewhere in the Gulf.

Experts have given a warning that while e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, they do pose a risk to health and could be a gateway to more hazardous tobacco smoking.

Students at one private and two public universities were polled on whether and when they had used e-cigarettes.

August 30, 2021 by

Can vaping render the cigarette obsolete? Dubai turns global spotlight on growing tobacco alternative

Could the days of the cigarette be numbered as millions of people worldwide switch from smoking to vaping?

When vape retailers say this is a process now well under way, that’s one thing, but when one of the world’s largest tobacco producers supports the argument, backed by industry groups and experts from the US to China, that’s another. Joe Dunne is director of Hale Vaping, which accounts for 45 percent of the Irish vaping market. He tells smokers eager to quit to see vaping as a “new miracle drug” they can use at their own initiative in order to take personal responsibility for their own health. [...]

December 22, 2020 by

UAE to ban e-cigarettes, shisha without digital tax stamp

Starting January 1, water pipe tobacco (shisha) or electrically heated cigarettes cannot be sold in the UAE unless they bear the digital tax stamp (DTS), the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has said.


These products cannot be sold, transported, stored or possessed without the tax stamp.

The DTS system helps the FTA “improve its ability to collect excise tax charged” on such products on being imported or manufactured locally. It also enables “stakeholders to analyse the supply chain to better control illicit tobacco products”.

February 21, 2019 by

UAE doctors won't promote vaping to help smokers quit

E-cigarettes will not be offered as an aid to help smokers quit until the full health impact is determined, doctors have said.

This week the government's product regulator said e-cigarettes and vaping products could be sold legally from mid-April.

Regulation will ensure consumers will have transparency over the vaping products they buy and help authorities stamp out black market and unregulated sellers.

But government doctors said the country will not go as far as some nations in promoting the devices to problem smokers.

February 18, 2019 by

UAE to allow sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices

New regulations will allow the legal sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the UAE for the first time.

Manufacturers will be allowed to sell the battery-powered products as long as they meet new standards and carry health warnings similar to traditional cigarettes.

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology confirmed the move on Sunday. The new rules - known as UAE.S 5030 - allow the sale of electronic cigarettes, electronic pipes, electronic shisha devices plus the liquid refills.

January 14, 2019 by

Take it from a nicotine addict, shisha is no joke

A new UAE study has confirmed what every shisha lover has long suspected: there are higher levels of cancer-causing metals in shisha products than in cigarettes. The ­research was co-authored by ­Professor Mohamed Al Hajjaj of the University of Sharjah, Abdus Khan of Khalifa University, [...] The study looked at 13 medwakh tobacco products and three shisha products, analysing their properties to determine metal concentrations. Their findings may not have been surprising, but they were terrifying all the same. [...]

November 19, 2018 by

Hooked on hookah: UAE experts report surge in shisha addicts

A rising number of UAE residents are seeking help after becoming hooked on shisha, an addiction expert has said.

Johanna Griffin, a Dubai-based specialist, said there has been a noticeable spike in patients attempting to kick the habit. They had often started smoking shisha, she revealed, unaware that evidence suggests they can be more dangerous than cigarettes.

Kamal Naji, 27, quit cigarettes before turning to shisha, which has now become a “part of his life”. He enjoys one immediately after finishing work, and another in the evening.

October 16, 2018 by

Know the law: Are e-cigarettes banned in UAE?

Residents in the UAE are confused over the rules surrounding the personal use of e-cigarettes, both in public places and at home, and are calling for clearer rules on the issue. However, the Dubai Municipality has made it clear that e-cigarettes are treated like any other cigarettes in Dubai.

Despite a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes in the UAE, many residents are still unclear as to whether they can legally smoke the device in designated public areas.


September 03, 2018 by

UAE considering lifting ban on e-cigarettes

The UAE could be set to lift its ban on e-cigarettes and other similar products, it has been revealed. Authorities have begun a preliminary project to assess whether electronic nicotine devices should be allowed to be used legally in the country. Currently, e-cigarettes are banned in the Emirates due to concerns over their impact on user health.