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Push for a Smoke-free Hajj Pilgrimage - Saudi Arabia

It is not only in the bars of New York or bistros of Paris where smokers are being pushed to the sidelines and asked to step outside to light that cigarette. Now, Saudi Arabia's health ministry is launching a public campaign to make the holy cities of Mecca and Medina smoke-free during this year’s pilgrimage season.

Abu Dhabi - The First International Meeting on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: Building Evidence for Intervention and Policy

Over the past decade, tobacco smoking using a waterpipe (hookah, narghile, shiha) has become a world-wide epidemic, with current use rates approaching those of cigarettes in many populations. It is particularly prevalent in the Arab world, and marketing efforts have played to the cultural and social aspects of waterpipe use. A nascent but growing evidence base unanimously points to the high potential for deleterious health effects of waterpipe use, including nicotine addiction. At the same time, waterpipe tobacco smoking remains peripheral to tobacco control efforts. The time is now ripe to raise the dialogue on this issue by having an international conference dedicated purely to the waterpipe.

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