Smoking addiction clinics in high demand

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Updated 17 March 2016

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.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.