10 million Saudi smokers by 2020

Updated 03 June 2013
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10 million Saudi smokers by 2020

The number of Saudi smokers is expected to rise from the current 5 million to 10 million by 2020, according to the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrine Association in the Eastern Province.
It said the projected rise is based on the lack of awareness programs on the dangers of smoking in Saudi society. It said government should take drastic action to counter this trend because of the major health and economic costs associated with the addiction.
In a study published in a book entitled “Smoking in the Saudi Community” by Salman Al-Omari, it was found that 37.9 percent of Saudis said they were influenced by their peers to start smoking; 12.26 percent started on their own initiative; 22.61 percent were influenced by their parents and family members; and 16.21 said they started smoking to show more assertiveness among their peers.
On the occasion of “World No Tobacco Day” held by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 31 every year, the association highlighted the message of the campaign, which calls for a ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. An estimated 15 billion cigarettes, worth up to $ 1.3 billion is sold in Saudi Arabia a year. The Kingdom is the fourth-highest importer of cigarettes and ranks 23 on the list of the world’s highest consumers of tobacco.
The head of the association, Abdulaziz Al-Turki, told a local newspaper that WHO has the best tools to help control tobacco use. “If we can manage to control the habit of smoking, we will be able to address many of the chronic diseases related to it, including cancer and heart disease.” He said WHO provisions are being sed by many countries around the world to protect their citizens. This includes raising cigarette prices, imposing constraints on advertising and sponsors, and placing warning messages on every pack of cigarettes.
Al-Turki said there should also be measures taken to ensure diabetes patients stop smoking.
The general secretary of the association, Kamel Salameh, urged all diabetes patients who are smokers to enroll in a program to help them quit the deadly habit.


Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

At a five-star hotel in Davos, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming ‘The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.’ (AN photo)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

  • The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders

DAVOS: From the sub-zero temperatures of the icy Davos Promenade you are ushered through a glass door into the warmth of a desert majlis, with works by young Saudi artists on the walls and traditional Arabian delicacies being served. It is quite a culture shock.

The Davos majlis is the work of the Misk Global Forum (MGF), the international arm of the organization founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to promote youth empowerment. 

The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders.

“The Kingdom’s participation in WEF 2019 highlights its role in developing the regional and global economy, and reflects the nation’s continuing ambition for sustainable development,” said Bader Al-Asaker, head of the crown prince’s private office and chairman of the Misk Initiatives Center. 

The Saudi delegation’s HQ overlooks the main congress hall, inside the Davos security cordon. 

At a nearby five-star hotel, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming: “The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.” 

This is the second year Misk has been prominent at Davos. As well as the majlis, its pavilion offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in modern Saudi art via a virtual reality tour of the work of four young artists.

Misk is organizing daily events there, building up to a power breakfast with leading executives on Friday on the theme of youth empowerment.

“In an age of profound economic disruption, we regard young people as the problem-solvers, not a problem to be solved,” said MGF executive manager Shaima Hamidaddin.

“We’re holding interactive discussions on how to empower young people to be the architects of the future economy, not the tenants of it.”