May 31st is celebrated widely as ‘World No Tobacco Day’. It is a day where awareness is spread about the negative effects of tobacco and how smoking is a great health risk.
Smoking and chewing tobacco are one of the leading causes for cardiovascular diseases, which is the leading cause of death in the UAE, according to Gulf News.
“Most people associate cigarette, pipe, and cigar use with breathing problems and lung cancer. But they [remain unaware] of the adverse effects on the heart and other blood vessels,” Dr. Haitham Ahmad, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, told the newspaper.
This year the campaign will be titled “Tobacco Breaks Hearts” and is primarily centered around how smoking tobacco causes various heart and cardiovascular diseases, according to the World Heart Foundation. It also aims to bolster the cardiovascular community and help them in their fight against tobacco.
According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco accounts for about seven million deaths globally each year. Over a million deaths are caused by second hand smoking.
An average of 27 people die every week in the UAE due to tobacco related diseases. Every six out 10 Emiratis are regularly exposed to second hand smoking, exposure like this increases chances of lung cancer and heart-related diseases by 30 percent.