Smoking addiction clinics in high demand

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Updated 17 March 2016
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Smoking addiction clinics in high demand

RIYADH: There has been a high demand in the Kingdom from people seeking help to give up smoking in the wake of the rise in tobacco prices announced recently by the government.
This is according to Anas Al-Hadi, a doctor at a clinic treating people for nicotine addiction. “Once a person stops smoking he may feel somewhat different because nicotine is no long in his body,” he was quoted as saying by a local publication on Wednesday.
“Some of the side effects of quitting include nervousness, headaches, anger, craving to smoke, sleeplessness, eating more and weight gain,” he said. However, these are temporary and last for only four weeks at most. Will power is crucial to successfully quit, he said.
Ali Al-Wadeh, general supervisor of the anti-smoking campaign of the Health Ministry, and secretary-general of the National Committee to Fight Tobacco, said the Kingdom was one of the first nations to ratify the World Health Organization’s (WHO) campaign against tobacco use.
He said the Kingdom launched its anti-smoking campaign in 2002, which is aimed at limiting the health effects of nicotine addiction.
The campaign is being supervised by the National Committee to Fight Tobacco, which includes two representatives from all ministries. The campaign organizers have also set up clinics throughout the Kingdom, including a mobile unit, to help people quit.
He said the Kingdom has also launched campaigns to end the illegal trade in tobacco products, the first Arab country to do so. There are also regulations sanctioned by the royal court to combat tobacco use.
Al-Wadehi said the increase in tobacco prices is a strategy backed by the WHO. Studies show that if retail prices of cigarettes are hiked by 10 percent this reduces the number of smokers in high-income countries by 4 percent. If it is raised by 8 percent in middle and low-income countries, this results in less teenagers smoking.
Those who want to stop smoking should access the site www.tcpmoh.gov.sa to get a free consultation.


Meet Cherine Magrabi, a talented businesswoman and inspiration to young designers

Updated 18 July 2018
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Meet Cherine Magrabi, a talented businesswoman and inspiration to young designers

  • Born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, Cherine Magrabi is also the curator and founder of House of Today in Beirut, a non-profit organization that helps to launch Lebanese designers onto the global scene
  • She says she is "happy to witness my country taking real steps toward long-overdue social reform"

JEDDAH: Cherine Magrabi began as a store manager and worked her way up to become creative and communications director at Magrabi Optical, a well-known family brand in the Middle East.

Born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, Magrabi is also the curator and founder of House of Today in Beirut, a non-profit organization that helps to launch Lebanese designers onto the global scene.

“I was born in Jeddah and moved at the age of 16 to Switzerland for schooling with four of my best friends. I keep having fine memories related to my life in Jeddah ... my father used to take me fishing in the Red Sea.”

She said: “Moving to Switzerland was a good preparation for life.” While there, she felt it was important to reflect a good image as a Saudi, while adjusting to her new environment and learning to do things by herself for the first time.

“It was also a good preparation for college, and I don’t think I would’ve done it any other way,” she added.

Magrabi went to study at Chelsea College of Art in London, where she met her future husband. After they married they moved to Beirut in 2002 and she started working for Magrabi Optical.

“We were just opening our first store in the Lebanese market and my brother asked me to help set it up and manage it.”

She worked as a store manager, which helped her to understand the family business and learn about their customers’ needs. “It gave me the opportunity to learn from the store level, understanding our weaknesses and opportunities directly from the market,” she said. “Today, as creative and communications director at Magrabi, I relate to what’s really happening on the ground.” 

She made a significant stamp on the firm when it came to rebranding the company, changing its logo, and reworking the display and merchandising. The rebranding stressed how the company’s products marry fashion and medical expertise. The company’s marketing campaign focuses on empowering women, a move which was led by her vision.

The eyewear business inspired her to found House of Today in 2012. She said: “I was always in the search for great designers in Beirut and faced difficulties in reaching out to them. I saw great potential in Lebanon, but there was no supporting system to introduce them to the world. It happened quite organically that I decided to showcase their work as an active member of the art scene.” 

She works closely with designers. House of Today identifies, nurtures, mentors, curates and showcases local Lebanese designers and to help them raise their profile. It also gives promising young designers — between the ages of 17 and 34 — a chance to study product design at a university in Lebanon or abroad under its scholarship program.

She said: “We are helping designers to develop their own business plan, connecting them to galleries and in creating sustainable images for themselves while supporting the next generation of designers through our scholarship program.” 

Every two years, HoT curates an exhibition showcasing the collaboration between experts and emerging designers. So far four exhibitions have been organized, including at Athr Gallery, the Jeddah art gallery, in 2015. Exhibitions aim to present a stellar collection highlighting the best work of young Lebanese designers. 

Commenting on the reform in Saudi Arabia, she said: “I’m happy to witness my country taking real steps toward long-overdue social reform. I think there would be a grace period with people waiting to see the true results of the ongoing changes.”