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Bahrain to open anti-smoking clinic

Manama, July 27, 2013

Bahrain is planning to open a third anti-smoking clinic as growing numbers of people seek help trying to kick the habit, said a report.

The facility is expected to be up and running in Hidd next month and will complement existing ones run from health centres in Hoora and Riffa, said the report in Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

It is part of a Health Ministry plan to open clinics in all five governorates.

"We are expected to open the third anti-smoking clinic in Hidd," said the ministry's anti-smoking programme co-ordinator Dr Kadhem Al Halwachi.

"It is a good move and with more clinics we can target increasing numbers of smokers."

Ministry figures show 21 per cent of people registered with the clinics gave up smoking in 2010, which rose to 31per cent in 2011.

It dropped slightly to 28 per cent last year.

"We prepared a questionnaire with 17 questions that was filled by the participants," said Dr Al Halwachi.

"Based on this we got an average of people registered with the clinics, who quit smoking."

The clinics use nicotine patches and chewing gum to help smokers quit, as well as organise lectures, seminars and workshops to educate them about the benefits of giving up.

"If one person from a group manages to quit, he encourages others to quit and this is what we want to target," said Dr Al Halwachi.

More people are expected to show up at clinics after the summer.

"When the schools open in September and families return from holiday, there will be more people coming to us," he said.

The clinics deal with adults and minors, who are accompanied to sessions by a parent, and are available for Bahrainis and expatriates.

Dr Al Halwachi met Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi earlier this month to discuss Bahrain's plans to help people quit smoking.

They agreed to target youth clubs across the country to educate them and run campaigns through the media.

A health survey of 300 Bahraini, Asian, Arab and Westerners living in Bahrain released in May showed 11 per cent of people smoke when they are under stress, compared to 33 per cent who watched TV to try and unwind and 16 per cent who play sport.

The GCC last year approved unified regulations to encourage people to quit smoking.

They require tobacco companies to display graphic warnings on all cigarette packets about the dangers of smoking. These include horrific images such as the deterioration of organs and harmful effects on pregnant women, which will also be placed on sheesha tobacco packets. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Hidd | Clinic | anti-smoking | Health Ministry |

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