Saudi Arabia - Haj pilgrims flock to the Kingdom, anti-smoking effort intensified this year..

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November 4, 2010 - As Haj pilgrims flock to the Kingdom from across the world, the Ministry of Health has intensified its campaign to make Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah (Medina) completely tobacco-free.

Dr. Sameer Al-Sabban, executive director of the Anti-Smoking Campaign in Makkah, adding that the program has been intensified this year. “We require the cooperation of pilgrims to make the two holy cities among those with the lowest tobacco consumption in the world,” said Dr. Al-Sabban.

September 11, 2010 - Saudi Arabia - smokers give up smoking prior to entering smoke-free holy cities of Mecca and Medina..;
November 5, 2009 - Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina) - possible healthier environment this year..
It is estimated that in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 35 to 40 percent of people above the age of 15 smoke. Around 24 percent of male students between the ages of 13 to 15 years smoke, while eight percent of female students smoke. The Kingdom joined the anti-tobacco agreement in May 2005. Saudi Arabia ranks fourth among world countries in tobacco imports and consumption. More than 15 billion cigarettes, worth $168 million, are smoked by Saudis each year, according to figures issued by the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Health Ministers Council.

Reference: Holy cities to be tobacco-free by MD RASOOLDEEN, ARAB NEWS, 11/1/2010.

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