DOHA: Majority of students in the Education City have suggested that Qatar Foundation (QF) should be made a no-smoking zone.
Responding to a survey by Qatar Foundation Telegraph, 87 percent of students asked QF to be made a no-smoking zone, especially to combat health problems caused by passive smoking.
However, 13 percent of the respondents said smoking is a personal choice and should be allowed in designated places.
QF has taken steps to combat effects of passive smoking through awareness campaigns.
The Health Safety, Security and Environment Directorate (HSSE) of QF, Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar (WCMC-Q) and Vodafone Qatar have been involved in campaigns, Qatar Foundation Telegraph said.
“As part of our activities, health education and awareness are important to ensure health and safety in Education City,” the report quoted Dr Yousuf Noman Al Shammari, Health Manager, HSSE, as saying. He said around one in 100 deaths in the world is due to passive smoking.
HSSE, QF’s Health Department, Recreation Services and many private clinics have collaborated with Vodafone Qatar in an awareness workshop.
Dr Javid Sheikh, Dean, WCMC-Q, said the campus has a strong anti-smoking campaign.
He said there is also the danger of improperly discarded cigarette butts which could cause fire. “We believe that public health would be best served by making a smoke-free zone and we will support any such initiative. WCMC-Q’s ‘Your health first’ is working to discourage smoking among Qataris and expatriates, particularly young people.”
“Our message is simple: If you smoke we advise you to give it up. If you don’t smoke, don’t start,” Dr Sheikh said.
According to a 2013 World Health Organisation study, some 10 percent or more than 200,000 of Qatar’s adult population are smokers.
Cigarettes are the most popular medium of tobacco use among smokers, followed by shisha and sweika. Smoking is more difficult to quit than other types of tobacco addiction and use, studies say.