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A lack of clear information around less harmful cigarette alternatives is preventing more smokers from quitting, new research shows.
In a recent survey commissioned by British American Tobacco (BAT) and carried out by market analysts Kantar, 41 per cent of adult nicotine users in the UAE and Saudi Arabia were aware of how to reduce the harm imposed by smoking.
Data also showed 85 per cent of adult UAE smokers were open to switching to nicotine products such as vapes, compared with 35 per cent of smokers in Saudi Arabia.
The study titled, “Knowledge and Attitudes Among Medical Students Toward the Clinical Usage of e-Cigarettes: A Cross-Sectional Study in a University Hospital in Saudi Arabia,” aimed to measure the likelihood of study participants’ favouring the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. A total of 399 students filled a four-item questionnaire.
The compiled responses indicated that a minority approved of e-cigarette use for smoking cessation. “A minority (13.5%) believed that e-cigarettes are FDA-approved for smoking cessation, while approximately one-third believed e-smoking lowers cancer risks (31.1%) and could help with smoking cessation (31.1%).”
Saudi Arabia banned the sale of tobacco to teenagers under 18 years old and smoking in areas where children are present, state media reported this week.
Importing and selling toys or candy made to look like cigarettes, or bear images that encourage children to smoke, has also been banned by law.
Saudi parents welcomed the move, saying it is “about time” people started acting responsibly and realise dangers of second-hand smoking.
“I am so relieved as a parent and teacher that the government is forcing adults to quit or at least prevent second-hand smoking and is focused on improving public health,” said Suad Alamri [...]
Saudi Customs have just banned the importation of shisha and vaping products through shipping companies and individuals' websites, from now on allowing only licensed companies to import the products for commercial purposes. As a result of this measure, anyone caught importing the products unlawfully will have them confiscated, forced to pay a fine, and have the offence recorded. On the other hand, said Saudi Customs, there are three circumstances under which importers can claim a refund of customs duties. [...]
Many Saudis say the increase in tobacco prices which doubled after the introduction of the value-added tax (VAT) in June last year, has helped them to quit this bad habit.
Salman Al-Imam, a Sudanese driver living in Saudi Arabia, gave up 10 months ago. “I had been smoking for 15 years and never thought I’d quit,” he said. “However, with willpower, determination and Champix, I now can’t even stand the smell. I’d rather spend that money on my family.”