Consumption of tobacco products is a major risk factor for mortality and morbidity globally. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has, owing to this reality, banned smoking in public spaces that include government facilities, all educational settings, public transport system, health care facilities, cafes, and restaurants (Morad-Lakeh, 2013). National law stipulates fines to be levied on smokers who smoke in public spaces. Also, the law mandates that health warnings, in form of graphics or photographs, are explicitly included on tobacco packages to warn would-be smokers. Furthermore, the law prohibits the selling of tobacco products to minors and the products are heavily taxed.
The case study results indicate, “There have been genuine advancements towards tobacco control” in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states (Awan et al., 2018). All the countries with the exception of Bahrain have established national offices that are dedicated to tobacco control. Moreover, majority of the GCC member states have implemented a ban at the national level on tobacco advertisement and dissemination of material meant to market tobacco products has also been banned. Five countries with the exception of Oman launched out smoking cessation support services that can easily be accessed by the public.Healthcare Policy
The healthcare policy adopted By KSA has challenges because the nation has failed to dedicate funds to be used in enforcement of the legal requirements and implementation of the law on smoking (Moradi-Lakeh, 2013). Furthermore, KSA only partially provides free of charge smoking cessation services that can help in unplugging smokers from the habit.
Coalition building will be a game changer in the success of KSA’s healthy policy on smoking. This is because it can aid in outsourcing of funds to be dedicated in implementation of the policy and providing targeted smoking cessation services to individuals.
Awan, K. H., Hussain, Q. A., Khan, S., Peeran, S. W., Hamam, M. K., Al Hadlaq, E., & Al Bagieh, H. (2018). Accomplishments and challenges in tobacco control endeavors–Report from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The Saudi dental journal, 30(1), 13-18.
Moradi-Lakeh, M., El Bcheraoui, C., Tuffaha, M., Daoud, F., Al Saeedi, M., Basulaiman, M., … & Mokdad, A. H. (2015). Tobacco consumption in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013: findings from a national survey. BMC public health, 15(1), 611.