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No cigarettes at petrol stations on May 31

Sajila Saseendran / 27 May 2010

If you are a smoker and often buy your cigarettes from petrol stations in Dubai, don’t expect them to sell you a packet on Monday.

No petrol station in Dubai will sell cigarettes for 24 hours on May 31, the World No Tobacco Day.

 

Dubai Municipality has partnered with petrol pumps in the emirate for a first-of-its-kind initiative in the UAE, it was announced on Wednesday. The civic body has also banned its staff from smoking in Municipality vehicles on Monday.

“Petrol stations are frequently used by cigarette smokers due to convenience,” Redha Hassan Salman, Director of Public Health Department told Khaleej Times.

“So, we approached these companies with the initiative, and they expressed their readiness and support to this public health campaign,” he added.

Though for just a day, officials hope the initiative will help convey the dangers of smoking. Some 50 petrol stations in Dubai run by ENOC, EPPCO and Emarat will take part in the initiative. The staff will wear T-shirts depicting the theme of the occasion and will distribute leaflets to the public urging them to quit smoking.

On Wednesday, the Municipality also launched a “Tobacco-free Women” campaign targeting females, who constitute 14 per cent of smokers in the country. Through the campaign in malls, women’s clubs and associations, the civic body is discouraging women from getting affected due to smoking or exposing them to passive smoking. It is also offering free medical check-ups and quit smoking sessions, in line with the theme of this year’s No Tobacco Day — “Gender and tobacco-with an emphasis on marketing to women.”

sajila@khaleejtimes.com

 
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