Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences (SHAMS), in joint with the World Health Organization, is launching the World No Tobacco Day, a five-day campaign from May 29 to June 2, 2008 marking May31 as the World No Tobacco Day.
Tobacco which is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, is the only legal consumer product that kills one third to one half of those who use it as intended by its manufacturers, with an average of 15 years premature death for its victims.
Approximately 1.8 billion young people (aged 10-24) live in our world today with more than, 85% found in developing countries, are targeted by the tobacco companies.
A the tobacco industry intensifies efforts to hook new, young and potentially life-long tobacco users, the health of a significant percentage of the world's youth is seriously threatened by tobacco's deadly products. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and children and adolescent experimentation can easily lead to a lifetime of tobacco dependence.
United Arab Emirates' citizens are morally obliged to prevent the youth from picking up this addictive habit. The Community Medical Services Centre, a division of SHAMS has taken the initiative to educate young generations about the dire consequences of smoking which might lead to their death or their beloveds.
The campaign includes awareness programs and text messaging service through which the center is trying to deliver a valuable message to the people of the United Arab Emirates, smokers and non-smokers, about the effects of Smoking.
The campaign will also reach people through television channels, radio channels and placing posters in schools, hospitals, shopping malls, business centers and other public places.
Dr. Laila Al Marzouqi, Cardiologist at Dubai Hospital and of Chairman Community Medical Service Centre said, most of heart and lung diseases are caused by smoking.
She added that younger generations have been targeted by Tobacco manufacturers through appealing advertisement.
Dr. Laila asserted on the importance of early education against this deadly phenomenon as most young boys and girls imitate their favorite movie stars while others pick up the habit following a desire to try smoking.
Professor Najib Al Khaja, Secretary General of the Award expressed his optimism that the campaign will curb the number people who start smoking at early age.
Prof. Al Khaja, who recommended the ban of such products, believes that educating public on the fatal consequences of smoking will save many lives.
He said that heart and lung diseases resulting mainly from smoking are very common in the UAE.
Prof. Al Khaja called on public and government to cooperate in order to make the UAE a Tobacco free country.