Qatar’s tobacco challenge: 17 cigarettes a day and about 65,000 smokers in total
A new survey has revealed that there are about 51,000 cigarette smokers and 14,000 shisha smokers in Qatar. Some smoke up to 17 cigarettes a day.
The 2013 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) was carried out by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. About 8,571 homes, both Qataris and non-Qataris, were visited as part of the survey.
These are some of the other figures revealed:
- 51,000 smokers in Qatar aged 15 years and above who constitute 12.1% of the adult population.
- Out of these, 20.2% were males, and 3.1% were females.
Qataris comprised 10.5% – 21.3% males, 0.6% females.
Non-Qataris comprised 12.9% – 19.6% males, 4.6% females.
- 14,000 adults smoke shisha – 4.9% males, 1.6% females.
Qataris comprised 28.5% – 5.3% males, 0.4% females
Non-Qataris comprised 71.5% – 4.8% males, 2.4% females
- 85% males smoked shisha in a café, 63% females smoked shisha at home.
- Over 50% of daily cigarette smokers smoke 17 cigarettes a day.
- Two-fifths of smokers have their first smoke within 30 minutes of waking up.
- 8.6% of daily smokers developed the habit at the age of 15; while 45.5% started smoking “daily” before the age of 18.
Impact of warning labels:
- Graphic warning labels on cigarette packets have influenced 51.4% of cigarette smokers, and 23.8% of shisha smokers, to consider quitting.
- 96% smokers were aware of the serious health effects that smoking causes.
- 85.9% supported increasing taxes on tobacco products to reduce consumption.
- Though 66.8% were thinking of quitting, only 38.2% attempted to quit in the past one year.
Read the experiences of a few people who quit smoking in this article by JustHere.
According to Qatar’s anti-smoking law (Law No. 20 of 2002), smoking is prohibited in various types of closed public places such as buses, clubs and commercial centres. The law also prohibits selling cigarettes, tobacco and its derivatives within a distance of less than 500 metres of schools and other educational or training institutions.
There have been talks of a new, stricter anti-tobacco law that if implemented will authorise the mall management to fine those caught smoking in the complex.
In another attempt to re-enforce the anti-smoking law, authorities have issued a warning to restaurants in Souq Waqif against serving shisha indoors. In addition, 50% of their outdoor seating must be reserved for non-smokers.