Dr. Thamer Al- Ohali, a Family Medicine Consultant at King Fahad Medical City, stated that the percentage of smokers in Saudi society reached 21.5% of males and 1.1% of females, totaling 22.6%. He pointed out that the highest percentage of smokers are within 35- 64 age group, representing 15.5% of total Saudi citizens.
This came during " Smoking Cessation Awareness Day" event that was held at the Main Hospital lobby of KFMC. "This Event is held to coincide with the inauguration of Anti-Smoking Clinic at Family Medicine and Employee Health Services Department of KFMC, which serves KFMC's smoking employees and their relatives", He said.
"Recent studies on 13-15 age group showed that 25% of Saudi students smoked cigarettes once in their lifetime, 14.9% of whom use tobacco products. Last year's statistics indicate that 7,000 Saudi citizens died because of smoking, i.e an average of 135 deaths per week, while KSA economic losses due to tobacco consumption and treatment of its effects is estimated more than 8.5 billion per year", he added.
With regard to damages resulting from smoking, Dr. Al-Ohali explained that Smoking is the cause of several serious diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, chronic cough, pneumonia, cardiac clots, hypertension, in addition to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, throat and oral cancer. Smoking and passive smoking also lead to serious issues in pregnancy and delivery; risk of abortion and foetus malformation; premature labor; and many types of cancer that are closely linked to smoking.