Doha, 23 December 2023: As part of Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) commitment to combat smoking and maintain smoke-free ‘Majlises’ in Qatar, the Tobacco Control Center launched an awareness campaign under the slogan “Together for Smoke-Free Majlis.”
‘Majlis’ is an Arabic term that refers to a 'sitting room' or 'meeting place' typically located within a home. It serves as a space where individuals gather to socialize, receive guests, discuss events and issues, and enjoy entertainment.
The campaign includes various awareness and educational activities, including visits to participating ‘Majlises’ to raise awareness about health hazards of smoking on individuals and society and highlight the benefits of refraining from smoking. Additionally, informative brochures will be distributed within the ‘Majlises.’
Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Mulla, Director of HMC’s Tobacco Control Center said: “In Qatar, over 25.2% of adults use tobacco products daily, comprising 43% who smoke cigarettes and 21% who use shisha. ‘Majlises’ are significant gathering spaces where exposure to smoking and passive smoking can occur. Hence, we initiated this campaign to reduce smoking in ‘Majlises.’”
Dr. Al Mulla highlighted the campaign's objective to combat the increasing prevalence of smoking, especially in enclosed spaces where people habitually gather, like ‘Majlises.’ Despite numerous awareness campaigns and preventive programs, tobacco use remains a public health threat, especially with the entry of new products into the local market, such as e-cigarettes and European sweika (nicotine pouches).
"Recognizing smoking prevalence in ‘Majlises’, we planned at the Tobacco Control Center, a World Health Organization collaborating center for tobacco control, to launch the ‘Together for Smoke-Free Majlis’ campaign. We hope that this campaign will encourage smokers to quit smoking in ‘Majlises,’ thereby protecting the health of children, the elderly, and adults, and reducing the rates of smoking-related illnesses and deaths," added Dr. Al Mulla.
Dr. Al Mulla emphasized smokers' access to all smoking cessation services at the Tobacco Control Center's clinics, which will aid their success in quitting.
The campaign will involve 'Majlises' applying to participate by adhering to the campaign's conditions. Scheduled and unscheduled monitoring and evaluation visits will be conducted to ensure compliance. During the unscheduled visits, an evaluation of the applicant's compliance level will be conducted through direct observation and verification of the requirements listed in the visit information form. In case of non-compliance, the applicant will be notified of the violations to prevent them in the future. Approved 'Majlises' will enter a monthly draw, with winners receiving certificates, plaques of appreciation, and a dinner for the Majlis members to appreciate their commitment.
The ‘Together for Smoke-Free Majlis’ campaign is the first of its kind in the GCC region, aligning with our goal of keeping indoor spaces smoke-free, such as universities, government entities, sports clubs, malls, restaurants, etc. The Tobacco Control Center aims to establish a comprehensive approach to curb all forms of smoking and combat this harmful habit.
To participate in the campaign, please contact the Tobacco Control Center via WhatsApp: 50800959 or call 40254857 and provide the Majlis owner’s name and contact number.