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Doctors' Syndicate, WHO launch anti-smoking campaign

CAIRO: The Doctors’ Syndicate launched a joint campaign with the World Health Organization (WHO) against smoking in Egypt. This year’s campaign focuses on combating smoking through raising awareness of its ill effects, according to a WHO press statement. Ahmed Imam, secretary general of the syndicate, said the syndicate is adamant on decreasing the percentage of …


CAIRO: The Doctors’ Syndicate launched a joint campaign with the World Health Organization (WHO) against smoking in Egypt.

This year’s campaign focuses on combating smoking through raising awareness of its ill effects, according to a WHO press statement.

Ahmed Imam, secretary general of the syndicate, said the syndicate is adamant on decreasing the percentage of smokers especially among “doctors, school teachers, political and religious leaders and employees in the public sector.

Last Saturday, the syndicate conducted its first meeting with members of different local NGOs to outline a strategy to fight local and international tobacco companies and launch awareness campaigns to inform citizens about the ill effects of tobacco, Saeed Sayed, media spokesperson for the Doctors’ Syndicate, told Daily News Egypt.

Meanwhile, the WHO called for placing graphic warning labels on all tobacco packages during the organization’s celebration of World No Tobacco Day May 31 at its headquarters in Geneva.

Hussein Gezairy, WHO’s regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said during his speech on World No Tobacco Day, that Egypt is the first country in the region to adopt pictorial health warnings occupying 50 percent of the pack size.

WHO showcased on its website four different health warning labels that Egypt placed on its cigarette packs.

Gezairy added that other countries in the region are also taking serious steps towards combating smoking.

“Health warnings on tobacco packages are a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives, said WHO Assistant Director-General Ala Alwan, “but they only work if they communicate the risk.

“Health warnings on tobacco packages are a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives, said WHO Assistant Director-General Ala Alwan, “but they only work if they communicate the risk.

“Warnings that include images of the harm that tobacco causes are particularly effective at communicating the risk and motivating behavioral changes, such as quitting or reducing tobacco consumption.

However, according to the WHO, only 10 percent of the world population live in countries that necessitate visual warnings on tobacco packages.

In order to survive, the tobacco industry needs to divert attention away from the deadly effects of its products, said Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO s Tobacco Free Initiative. It uses multi-million dollar promotional campaigns, including carefully crafted package designs, to ensnare new users and keep them from quitting.

“Health warnings on tobacco packages can be a powerful tool to illuminate the stark reality of tobacco use, Bettcher added.

According to WHO, research proves that few people understand tobacco’s health risks.

A study that was conducted in 2009 in China found that only 37 percent of smokers knew that smoking causes heart disease and only 17 percent knew that it causes strokes, according to the WHO.

Another survey conducted in 2003 in Syria found that only a small group of university students “correctly identified cardiovascular disease as a hazard of cigarette or water pipe smoking. The WHO also added that other researches in other countries showed similar results.

Topics: Aboul Fotouh

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2009/06/01/doctors-syndicate-who-launch-anti-smoking-campaign/
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