Saudi Arabia - smokers give up smoking prior to entering smoke-free holy cities of Mecca and Medina..

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,, 9/11/2010.

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