Smoking causes 8,000 deaths in Jordan annually — expert

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AMMAN — Bassam Hijjawi, head of the Jordanian National Anti-Smoking Society, revealed that smoking causes the death of 8,000 individuals each year.اضافة اعلان

Specialized studies indicate that approximately 41 percent of Jordanian citizens are smokers, making it one of the highest smoking rates globally.

Hijjawi emphasized that smoking is not just a local problem but a global epidemic recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This epidemic encompasses various forms of smoking, including regular cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.

Jordan ranks among the countries with significantly high rates of smoke consumption, affecting both males and females.

Risk of chronic diseases and hookah cultureFurthermore, Hijjawi highlighted the risks associated with smoking, particularly for the youth. Approximately 10 percent of smokers in Jordan resort to electronic cigarettes, predominantly among young adults.

Prolonged exposure to smoking for 10 to 15 years increases the likelihood of developing chronic diseases and premature deaths.

Jordan has also witnessed a significant proliferation of hookah smoking, surpassing many other countries.

Currently, there are around 3,000 cafes offering hookah services, further fueling the prevalence of smoking in the country.

Socioeconomic factors and low quitting ratesHijjawi drew attention to the socioeconomic factors contributing to the high smoking rates. Unemployment and poverty have created an environment where citizens resort to smoking as an outlet.

Opinion polls indicate that despite the existence of 29 free clinics specialized in smoking cessation across all governorates, the rates of quitting smoking remain low.

Economic implications of smokingEconomist Qassem Al-Hamouri highlighted the impact of smoking on the national economy. Individuals often seek satisfaction and relaxation through smoking, which has severe repercussions.

He added that the cost of treating smoking-related diseases imposes a significant burden on public healthcare expenditures.

Moreover, the expense of smoking diverts funds that could be allocated to essential commodities like food, exacerbating economic disparities. The high taxes imposed on cigarettes also contribute to the financial strain faced by smokers.

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