$1.3bn goes up in smoke
Jeddah, June 16, 2007
Around six million people in Saudi Arabia spend SR5 billion ($1.3 billion) annually on cigarettes, smoking around 15 billion cigarettes each year.
According to recent WHO statistics, as many as 22 per cent of Saudis smoke cigarettes with 25 per cent of them suffering from diabetes and 15 to 20 per cent experiencing high blood pressure.
A single Saudi on an average smokes 2,130 cigarettes in a year, said The Arab News citing the WHO report.
'About 50 per cent of Saudis suffer from high cholesterol levels in blood and 36 per cent from obesity,” the report said.
Dr Abdullah Al-Badah, supervisor of the Anti-Smoking Program at the Health Ministry, estimates there is a staggering 600,000 Saudi women smokers, with many of these being teenagers.
The Kingdom is also ranked 23rd among the largest tobacco consuming countries in the world, the report said. TradeArabia News Service
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