New guidelines for smoking cessation clinics discussed

DUBAI — Establishing a new, integrated network for smoking cessation clinics across the UAE was discussed by officials from the Ministry of Health and Novartis Consumer Health yesterday.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 6 Jun 2008, 9:22 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:24 PM

A full-day workshop for medical professionals discussing this new development is part of an initiative to create a structured and homogeneous system for smoking cessation clinics across the UAE to strengthen their presence in the emirates.

Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, said, "The clinics currently provide smokers with comprehensive therapy and guidance to quit the smoking habit. The workshop is focusing on the system and nationwide guidelines that will soon be implemented to improve the clinics' services and streamline processes."

"The clinics have been successful in terms of providing the public with the right support and tools to assist smoking cessation. Now it is time to put into operation an integrated system that will enhance the clinics performance," he added.

Dr Ahmed Abdulla, specialist and head of Smoking Cessation Unit, Preventive Medicine, MoH, conducted the training session on how to operate smoking cessation clinics effectively. He also conducted a seminar on nicotine addiction and treatment patterns used in the clinics. "As medical professionals we know that nicotine addiction, as with any addiction, is not easy to tackle. Understanding the dependence helps us tackle sensitive issues that may otherwise be overlooked. Treatment should not only include physical therapy but also consider the emotional aspects. This way we can offer a more comprehensive solution," he said.

The MoH and Novartis Consumer Health have actively launched several campaigns as part of the nation's strategy to curb smoking in the UAE, the setting up of the clinics being one of them.

On June 1 three clinics were opened - one each in Ajman, Fujariah and Dubai. There are currently six clinics in operation including one each in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

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