UAE approves anti-smoking drug Champix
Dubai, May 3, 2008
Tthe UAE ministry of health has approved the registration of Champix, one of the most effective treatments for breaking the cycle of tobacco addiction.
Champix is a breakthrough treatment that has already helped millions of smokers to quit worldwide. It is a non-nicotine agent and the first new treatment approved for smoking cessation in nearly a decade.
Physicians agree that, for those aiming to quit, medication is far more effective than relying on willpower alone. In two clinical trials, patients who received Champix had almost four times more chance of quitting smoking compared to patients who simply received a placebo, over a 12-week course of therapy.
By combining a mix of new legislation, support programmes and public awareness campaigns, the UAE is seen as deploying a best practice approach within the GCC region.
“The UAE is definitely moving forward with a number of innovative measures to create a smoke-free environment. Its approach is enabling a higher number to quit smoking, which is a socially-devastating medical area,” said director of external affairs and policy for Pfizer Middle East Dr Ahmed Al-Hakim.
Since the introduction of smokefree laws around the world, studies have documented a range of positive follow-on effects including a significant decline in hospital admissions for heart attacks, increased productivity and reduced sickness in employees, and reduced injuries and risk of fire damage.
Health professionals in the UAE are in agreement with medical authorities worldwide that hundreds of thousands of people die every year from diseases related to secondhand smoke exposure.
A new study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates 200,000 people die each year of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and cardiac death because of exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace.
In addition, approximately 700 million children - almost half of the world’s children - are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“The smoke-free air legislation, which is being extended, has made two important contributions to the quality of life in the UAE. Fewer people are being exposed to secondhand smoke, particularly children and vulnerable adults, such as expectant mothers,” said head of the ministry of health tobacco control team in the UAE Dr Wedad Al Maidoor.
“In addition, we’re seeing that smoke-free environments are enabling more people to quit, by reducing the exposure of smokers to smoking areas. Our national tobacco control law is strongly supporting and ensuring a smoking free-environment,” she added.
According to a survey of current smokers, conducted at the start of the year, seven out of 10 smokers want to quit the potentially fatal habit. New smoke-free air laws provide smokers with public environments free from any pressure or temptation to smoke. – TradeArabia News Service
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