Conflicting reports about smoke-free alternatives are main hurdle in quitting cigarettes, says survey

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 1 billion smokers in the world today, and this number is expected to stay steady until 2025. Shutterstock
According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 1 billion smokers in the world today, and this number is expected to stay steady until 2025. Shutterstock
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Updated 21 November 2021

Conflicting reports about smoke-free alternatives are main hurdle in quitting cigarettes, says survey

Conflicting reports about smoke-free alternatives are main hurdle in quitting cigarettes, says survey

RIYADH: Confusing information about smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes prevents a large number of smokers from kicking the butt, according to the findings of a global survey.

The survey of nearly 30,000 adults in 26 countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, found that too many adult smokers remain unaware that alternatives to cigarettes exist, are unable to access them, or are confused by conflicting information that prevents them from making an informed choice.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 1 billion smokers in the world today, and this number is expected to stay steady until 2025.

The study, which was commissioned by Philip Morris International, was conducted by research firm Povaddo to measure the public’s awareness of smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes.

The international survey showed that despite the available science and research backing up smoke-free alternatives, there was public confusion surrounding these products, such as heated tobacco products or e-cigarettes.

Thirty-three percent of the respondents cited a lack of information about how these products differ from cigarettes and 35 percent said they were unsure about the science behind these new products.

The survey found that 32 percent of smokers have easier access to cigarettes and so don’t switch to alternatives.

Two thirds of adult smokers in the Kingdom, when surveyed on why they have not considered switching to smoke-free products, 62 percent said the lack of information about how these products differ from cigarettes, 41 percent cited uncertainty about the science, while 56 percent said having easier access to cigarettes, played a part in their consideration.

The survey revealed 97 percent of legal age smokers in the Kingdom surveyed who have switched to a smoke-free product and stopped smoking confirmed that having accurate information about how these products differ from cigarettes was an important factor in their decision.

In addition, 73 percent of current Saudi-based adult smokers said they would be more likely to switch to smoke-free products if they had clarity on how these products differ from cigarettes and the science behind them. Globally, of the adult smokers surveyed, this figure stood at 63 percent.

“The findings of the survey show there is confusion about smoke-free products. For those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes, having access to evidence-based information about smoke-free products is critical,” said Tarkan Demirbas, area vice-president for the Middle East at Philip Morris International.


Elon Musk’s Tesla share sales pass $10bn

Elon Musk’s Tesla share sales pass $10bn
Updated 5 sec ago

Elon Musk’s Tesla share sales pass $10bn

Elon Musk’s Tesla share sales pass $10bn
RIYADH: Elon Musk offloaded $1.01 billion worth of Tesla shares, surpassing $10 billion in over the past month, as he seeks to sell 10 percent of his stake in the electric-car maker.

Musk got rid of about 934,000 shares in the latest transaction, according to regulatory filings dated Thursday.

The world’s richest person is aiming to offset taxes on the exercise of about 2.1 million options, Bloomberg reported.

Musk is the richest person in the world with a $284.1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His wealth has surged by $128.1 billion this year with Tesla shares having climbed 54 percent.

UAE financial literacy app raises $400,000 in pre-seed, prepares for $1.5m seed round

UAE financial literacy app raises $400,000 in pre-seed, prepares for $1.5m seed round
Updated 48 min 17 sec ago

UAE financial literacy app raises $400,000 in pre-seed, prepares for $1.5m seed round

UAE financial literacy app raises $400,000 in pre-seed, prepares for $1.5m seed round
  • Edfundo is set to launch in the UAE in 2022

RIYADH: UAE-based Edfundo, a children’s financial literacy app, looks to raise $1.5 million in seed funding to grow its team, bolster its growth in its home market, and expand across the MENA region.

This follows the closing of the initial friends and family funding round that was 12.5 percent over-subscribed and raised $400,000, Edfundo said on its website.

The co-founders of Edfundo, the world’s first teacher-curated smart money management app for tweens and teens, which is due for launch in the UAE in 2022, have opened the next $1.5 million funding round with a target to close it during the next year.

Founded by CEO Simon Wing and COO Andrew Toward, Edfundo allows children to manage their finances through its money management platform app.

The first-round funding means Edfundo can connect swiftly with youngsters and parents and engage in crucial conversations around smart money management, Toward said.


Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products

Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products
Updated 03 December 2021

Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products

Saudi Competition Authority approves joint venture to sell, distribute Gucci products
  • G Distribution will own 75 percent of the shares in the company, while Al Rubaiyat Company will own 25 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition gave the green light for a joint venture between G Distribution B.V and Al Rubaiyat Co. for Industry & Trade Holding to sell and distribute Gucci products in the Kingdom.

G Distribution Company will own 75 percent of the shares in the company, while Al Rubaiyat Company will own 25 percent, Argaam reported.

The Kingdom’s competition authority has approved 13 joint projects since the beginning of this year.


Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6
Updated 03 December 2021

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6

Saudi Arabia hosts first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is hosting its first National Forum for Islamic Banking on Dec. 6 and 7 in Riyadh, titled "Kingdom's Leadership in Islamic Banking.”

Participants in the forum will discuss the impact of Islamic banking on economic development, the Kingdom’s regulations in Islamic banking, Islamic digital banking in Saudi Arabia and the role of Islamic banks in entrepreneurship, among other discussions.

This comes in light of the rapid growth of the Islamic financial industry since its inception at the global level.

Islamic banking assets in the Kingdom reached more than $565 billion by the first quarter of 2021, SPA reported.


Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap
Updated 03 December 2021

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Euro area recorded a slight decrease of 0.1 percent to hit 7.3 percent in October, according to data by the Eurostat. 

In addition, the EU’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from September’s level of 6.7 percent, meaning a 0.8 percent fall compared to the same period last year. 

Italy jobs

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Italy rose by 0.2 percent from a month earlier to reach 9.4 percent in October, based on data from Italy’s National Institute of Statistics. This signalled a 0.6 percent decline from last year’s October. 

Korea’s economy 

Korea's gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous period, decelerating from a 0.8 percent increase in the second quarter, a report by the Bank of Korea showed. 

This was also lower than the corresponding period’s growth last year when it stood at 2.2 percent.

On an annual basis, the expansion rate turned to 4 percent in the third quarter from negative 1 percent in the same period of 2020, the Bank of Korea said. 

Monthly consumer prices in Korea rose in November by 0.4 percent compared to the previous month, according to official data. Meanwhile the yearly inflation rate recorded a reading of 3.7 percent.

Brazil’s output 

Brazil’s output growth also slowed in 3Q, as the economy expanded by an annual rate of 4 percent compared to 12.3 percent in the previous quarter, data released by the country’s official statistics agency revealed.

On a quarterly basis, Brazil’s economy shrank by 0.1 percent. This is a somewhat improvement from the second quarter’s decline of 0.4 percent

Japan’s consumer confidence

The seasonally adjusted series for the consumer confidence index of Japan remained unchanged from October’s level of 39.2, according to the country’s Cabinet Office.