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April 15th, 2013:

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New anti-smoking campaign launched in Australia

By: Joe Gilfillan | New Zealand News | Sunday April 14 2013 17:25

More confronting images are appearing on Australian TV screens tonight – in a bid to convince more people to quit smoking.

15,000 Australians die from smoking related diseases every year, making it the country’s biggest preventable killer.

Health Minister Tanya Pilbersek says smokers know it kills – but are convinced they can give up before they die.

“I think these ads really show that you can have years of ill health before you die from smoking.

” It really focuses on the illnesses that smoking causes and the reduced quality of life that smokers have.”

“This reminds people not just that smoking kills but how it kills. There are many diseases associated with smoking that can cause years of suffering before a person finally dies.”

Bounties for smokers where smoking is banned

Monday, 15 April 2013

04 Jumada Al-Akhir 1434 H

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Bounties for smokers where smoking is banned

Last updated: Sunday, April 14, 2013 11:18 PM

Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – Two women in their late 20s surprised the visitors of a coffee shop here recently by offering smokers free cigarettes from a major tobacco company. The women visit different coffee shops and restaurants and offer smokers a new brand of cigarette to try and if they liked it the saleswomen give them a new packet of cigarettes for free and also include them in a competition for a free ticket to a European country.

Saleswomen promoting smoking? This piece of information would definitely shock many readers given the fact that smoking in public places is banned in the Kingdom and violating coffee shops, restaurants and hotels face closure or fines up to SR5,000.

These saleswomen address only smokers, but they don’t ask their age. They tour around 21 coffee shops daily, distributing an average of eight packets of cigarettes.

“Today is a bad day; we distributed only three packets,” said one of the saleswomen, who has been on the job since a week. “Some people attack us while others understand that this is our job,” she explained.

They offer a new packet of a particular cigarette brand in exchange for an old packet of any brand of cigarette. “Collecting old packets is meant to convince our supervisors that we have visited coffee shops and actually spoken to potential clients,” said another saleswoman.

When the supervisor of a restaurant was asked why he allows these saleswomen to enter the restaurant and promote smoking, he responded by saying: “This is not my responsibility to prevent them from entering the restaurant. They come here everyday in the morning and even in the afternoon. This is not my job to stop them. This is the responsibility of the security guards at the gate.”

And the guards said that they had been asked to only prevent single men from entering the restaurant.

Hani Al-Suraihi, the head of the media department at Kafa (enough) anti-smoking society, expressed “shock” at these campaigns promoting smoking.

He said that anti-smoking society representatives cannot visit cafes and restaurants without the permission of authorities concerned and the owners of these establishments.

He, however, said that his society will soon launch a program to combat smoking in cafes and restaurants.

“We started our anti-smoking campaigns in schools because of the increasing number of smokers there. Then we headed to government departments. Coffee shops will have a separate program, because they are high-smoking areas,” said Al-Suraihi, adding that they cannot force people to stop smoking rather they work on increasing awareness about the dangers of smoking.

The Kingdom has taken a number of measures to curb smoking. In early 2012, taxes on cigarettes were increased by SR1. Smoking was banned in all public places.

According to media reports, there are six million smokers in the Kingdom who spend SR11 billion on cigarettes annually. Smokers in the Kingdom are between the ages of 17 and 40. According to data, 600,000 of smokers are women while teenagers constitute 772,000 smokers.

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