September 14, 2010 - The holy cities of Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah (Medina) have been declared smoking-free zones by the Saudi Health Ministry. No cigarettes are sold in those cities.
Over 600 smokers of various nationalities pledged to quit the habit while standing at the gates of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, according to Abdullah Sirouji, the head of Kafa Welfare Society, which spearheads a campaign to spread awareness about the hazards of smoking and drugs.
The society has a mobile clinic that helps smokers to abandon smoking. The clinic is a large truck which is equipped with eight beds and six chairs in addition to the X-ray and other medical equipment.
Sirouji added that more than 400,000 people visited the clinic, which started its work near the Haram from the first day of Ramadan. He explained that the society was given its location through coordination with the Makkah municipality, the traffic police and the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs.
Reference: 600 smokers take vow to kick habit at Haram gates, A1SaudiArabia.com, 9/11/2010.
Saudi Arabia - some related news briefs:
Saudi Arabia - to launch a natioinwide anti-smoking campaign..;
Saudi Arabia - campaign underway to educate the public especially targeting young people..;
Saudi Arabia - ban smoking at all airports..;
Saudi Arabia - Shoura Council to provide advice on Anti-Smoking Law..;
Saudi Arabia - number of smokers has increased..;
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina) - possible healthier environment this year..;
Saudi Arabia - anti-smoking regulations approved in August 2003 not yet implemented..;
Saudi Arabia - rid country of public smoking zones..;
Saudi Arabia - bans use of cessation drugs Champix and Zyban..;
Saudi Arabia - banning sales of electronic (e) cigarettes..;
Saudi Arabia - smokers to pay higher health insurance premium..;
50 lashes for smoker on Saudia Arabian Airlines..;
Saudi court set to hear tobacco compensation case..;
Saudis to sue tobacco firms for more than $2.7 billion Ryadh, Saudi Arabia..