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Saudi Arabia

Expert: Passive smoking can cause infant death

RIYADH: Passive smoking is generally harmful, but children and pregnant women are at a higher risk and it may cause sudden death to an infant, an official said here Friday.
"Secondhand smoke causes cardiovascular and respiratory disease, coronary heart disease and lung cancer to adults. However, it can lead to sudden death among infants because they have small lung size and incomplete immune system," said Ali Al-Wadiei, the general supervisor of Saudi Anti-Smoking Program.
He made this observation on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day 2015, which falls on Nov 20 every year.
Al-Wadiei said one of the fundamental goals set out in the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is prevention of teenagers and young adults from tobacco use. This was also necessary to protect present and future generations from the devastating effects resulting from the use of all types of tobacco.
Referring to WHO statistics, he said that more than 40 percent of parents smoke, exposing their children to passive smoking.
“The move seeks to create awareness among young people through entertainment programs, drawing and painting contests for children and distribution of pamphlets containing some visuals and phrases on the harmful effects of tobacco, in addition to films and cartoons showing the ill-effects of smoking,” Al-Wadiei said.
The program also targets parents to protect children and their right to breathe fresh air. He said the child does not smoke, but is exposed to the smoke around him.

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