Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Control program is a top priority for the Public Health division at the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center. One of the main key strategies include the implementation of a smoke-free environment throughout Abu Dhabi and increase public awareness on the dangers of tobacco use and electronic smoking and how to give up smoking.

Abu Dhabi Public Health Center launched the Tobacco Control Awareness Program in which runs annually with the slogan "Together Towards a Smoking - Free Abu Dhabi" .The program aims to raise the overall awareness among the community on health risks of tobacco use and electronic smoking , second hand smoke exposure and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, and advocacy for the Implementation of the Federal Law 15 of 2009 and the Executive by-law 24 of 2013 concerning tobacco Control, together with other governmental agencies and community organizations.

Abu Dhabi Says No to Tobacco

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What are the health risks of smoking?

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally and has been shown to be the cause of common diseases affecting the heart, liver and lungs. Tobacco use and electronic smoking is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer (particularly lung cancer). In addition to cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of these are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.

Health effects of secondhand smoke / passive smoking /environmental tobacco smoke:

Secondhand smoke is the inhalation of smoke from tobacco products or electronic smoking used by others. Smoking around others, increase the risk for friends and family of developing several types of cancer, stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. Children of smokers are more prone to being smokers than the children of non-smokers.

Is it true that Smoking shisha / water pipes / hookah are safer than smoking cigarettes?

Shisha smoking is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Shisha smoking poses a serious risk to health just as cigarettes do; filtering the smoke through water does not make it healthier. Recent studies have shown that shisha is equivalent to 40+ cigarettes. All types of tobacco products, whether cigars, cigarettes or Medwakh, are bad for health.

What is Dokha and Medwak?

Dokha (Arabic for “dizzy”) is the tobacco blend that is smoked in a pipe called a ‘Medwakh’ especially amongst young people and it contains many unknown substances and chemicals. There is very little research on Dokha and Medwakh but it has been shown to be as harmful as cigarettes and shisha. Recent research has shown, it has high nicotine content, containing up to five times as much as a normal cigarette.

What is electronic smoking and vaping ?

Electronic smoking or vaping using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) which go by many names. The most common name is “e-cigarette”, but others such as e-cigs, e-cigars, e-hookah, vaping devices, mod systems or pod systems, vapes, vape pens and tanks are common terms.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other international health agencies have warned of several health risks that may result from the use of E-cigarettes and the FDA has not approved the E- cigarettes as a quit-smoking treatment.

E-smoking is “undoubtedly harmful”, and it constitute a present and real threat” to public health. E- smoking products are not less harmful compared to traditional tobacco products. Many e-cigarette users get more nicotine than they would from combustible tobacco products. Users can purchase higher strength cartridges that contain a higher concentration of nicotine. In addition, the flavorings added to the product help increase addiction to the product

Is smoking addictive?

The nicotine in tobacco is the addictive drug. It causes changes in the brain that makes people want to use it more and more. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present and the bad feelings when it's absent make breaking any addiction difficult. The characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. HOWEVER, YOU CAN QUIT WITH THE RIGHT HELP!!

What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?

Irritability/ impatience/ hostility/ anxiety/ depressed mood/ difficulty concentrating/restlessness/ decreased heart rate/ increased appetite or weight gain.

What are the benefits of stopping smoking?

Quit smoking is not easy, but there are many benefits when tobacco use is stopped including:

  • Reduced risk of developing illness, disability or death caused by cancer, heart, lung disease, or circulatory problems (such as limb amputation)
  • Increased protection of your family and friends from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
  • Improved fertility levels and increased chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  • Improved breathing and general fitness.
  • Improved taste of food.
  • Improved appearance of skin and teeth
  • Elimination of the smell of stale tobacco.
  • Reduced fire risk in the home.

Can I get help to quit smoking?

Your doctor can advise you on a number of strategies to help you quit smoking. By visiting one of the following smoking cessation clinics:

Clinics in Abu Dhabi  
Al Bateen Healthcare Center 80050
Al Fuad Medical Center 02-5599444
Al Mushrif Children's Specialty Center 80050
Al Maqta Healthcare Center 80050
Baniyas Healthcare CenterAmbulatory Healthcare Services 80050
Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi 80055
Health Plus Diabetes and Endocrinology L.L.C 600503035 / 02-4194984
Healthpoint Hospital 02-4194984
Madinat Khalifa Healthcare CenterAmbulatory Healthcare Services 80050
Madinat Mohamed Bin Zayed Healthcare Center 80050
Mediclinic- Alnoor Smoking Cessation Clinic 8002000
Clinics in Al Ain  
Al Hili Healthcare Clinic 02-7112221 / 02-7112206
Al Jahli Healthcare Center 80050
Al Muweiji Healthcare CenterAmbulatory Healthcare Services 80050
Oud Al Touba Healthcare CenterAmbulatory Healthcare Services 80050
Sweihan Health Care Center 80050
Tawam Smoking Cessation Clinic - Tawam Hospital 80050
Clinics in Al Dhafra  
Al Dhafra Family Medicine Center 02-8700000
Al Dhannah Hospital 800 7267

Have you decided to quit smoking?

Congratulations on deciding to quit smoking, no matter how addicted you are, you can stop smoking.

Here below our advice on how to successfully quit smoking. Many smokers were able to quit and some find it helpful to use medications. Your doctor can advise you about medications that can help..

When you are getting ready to quit remember:

  1. You are probably addicted to nicotine and it can take time to break away from nicotine addiction. Many people manage to do this successfully every day.
  2. It may take more than one attempt to quit for good, the important thing is not to give up
  3. You may smoke when you are stressed, bored or angry, so try not to expose yourself to such conditions and remember the stress will pass without the need for a cigarette
  4. Try and stay away from social situations where people are smoking as this may weaken your resolve

Some tips which may help you to stop smoking:

  1. Set a date to quit, and stop completely. (Some people prefer the idea of cutting down gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke less cigarettes than usual, you are likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is usually best to stop at once and for all from a set date).
  2. Tell everyone that you quit. Friends and family often give support.
  3. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, and all cigarettes and e- smoking products.
  4. Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms. When you stop smoking, you are likely to get symptoms such as: feeling sick, headaches, anxiety, being irritable and cravings. These symptoms are caused by the lack of nicotine that your body has been used to. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 2-4 weeks.
  5. Be aware of situations in which you are most likely to want to smoke and try changing your routine for the first few weeks.
  6. Take one day at a time. Mark off each successful day on a calendar. Look at it when you feel tempted to smoke and tell yourself you don't want to start all over again.
  7. Be positive.Tell people that you quit smoking. You will smell better. After a few weeks you should feel better, taste your food more, and cough less. You will have more money.
  8. Food. Some people worry about gaining weight when they give up smoking as the appetite may improve. Be prepared for an increase appetite and try not to increase fatty or sugary foods as snacks. Try sugar-free gum and fruit instead.
  9. Do not despair if you fail and have a cigarette. You don't have to start smoking again. Examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular time and try again. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have made 3 or 4 previous attempts.
  10. Various medicines can increase your chance of quitting. These include Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which comes as gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy NRT without a prescription. Also, other medicines can help. These are available on prescription and need to be taken with the advice of your doctor.
  11. Smoking cessation clinics are available and increasing in number, and pharmacists can advise you on over the counter aids to help you quit smoking.

Treatment Coverage:

  • For Nationals: Treatment, for both counselling and medication, are fully covered by Thiqa Daman insurance
  • For Non Nationals: Treatment for both counselling and medication coverage are as per individual insurance plan.

Watch the success stories videos:

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