Kuwait ministry of health launches nationwide Anti-Smoking Campaign

Kuwait ministry of health launches nationwide Anti-Smoking Campaign

KUWAIT – In a proactive move against the pervasive issue of smoking and its profound impact, Kuwait ministry of health has unveiled the National Anti-Smoking Program 2024 to safeguard children. 

Commencing last Thursday, this initiative, titled “Protecting Children from the Interference of the Tobacco Industry,” emerged from collaborative efforts with various ministries, agencies, and state institutions.

Dr. Abeer Al-Bahwa, Director of the Health Promotion Department at the Ministry, provided insights into the campaign’s objectives in an interview with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) last Tuesday. 

She emphasized the campaign’s comprehensive approach, targeting individuals across all demographics, including men, women, and children, with a core mission to illuminate the dangers of smoking.

Al-Bahwa stressed the importance of legal awareness, shedding light on the potential legal ramifications of smoking in unauthorized areas, particularly concerning health concerns for vulnerable populations such as children. 

Moreover, the campaign advocates for a smoke-free lifestyle, aiming to shield both present and future generations from the multifaceted consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to secondhand smoke.

A primary aim of the campaign is to mitigate tobacco-related illnesses and fatalities, with a specific focus on combating lung diseases and raising awareness about the hazards of hookah smoking. 

Safeguarding children and adolescents from passive smoking stands out as a crucial aspect of this endeavor.

Spanning until World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the campaign encompasses activities across all six of Kuwait’s governorates. 

These include exhibitions, distribution of informational materials, interactive sessions, and public awareness events facilitated by dedicated administrative teams.

Health centers contributed to the initiative by screening educational films on smoking-related health risks and disseminating awareness messages through various social media platforms. 

Additionally, commercial complexes hosted awareness days featuring health exhibitions aimed at enlightening the public about the detrimental effects of smoking.

Al-Bahwa highlighted alarming trends, noting a concerning rise in e-cigarette usage among children aged 13 to 15, surpassing rates observed in adults. 

Studies indicate that young e-cigarette users are significantly more likely to transition to traditional cigarettes later in life, with detrimental effects observed even on fetal development.

The urgency of addressing this issue is underscored by the World Health Organization’s call for stringent measures to curb smoking, particularly among children and youth. 

Al-Bahwa emphasized the imperative for nations to enact robust regulations, citing disparities in e-cigarette regulations worldwide.

She further emphasized the long-term health consequences associated with e-cigarette use, including the generation of carcinogenic substances and heightened risks of heart and lung disorders. 

Moreover, e-cigarette use has been linked to adverse effects on brain development and learning disorders among young individuals.

The Kuwait Ministry of Health’s proactive stance in launching this comprehensive anti-smoking campaign reflects a concerted effort to safeguard the nation’s children and promote a healthier, smoke-free society.

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