Published: 2019-01-22 12:47
Last Updated: 2019-01-22 14:05
It is no secret that Jordanians love their cigarettes, so much so that Jordan has the highest number of smokers in the Middle East, while it ranks in second place for the same reason globally, after Indonesia, according to Abeer Al-Muwaswas, Head of the Health Awareness Department at the Ministry of Health.
Muwaswas told Roya that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Jordan could be the next country to be classified as number one in terms of having the highest number of smokers, as Indonesia is currently putting up a fight against smoking.
The official said that the Ministry of Health is doing its best to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, and to implement the country’s anti-smoking laws.
She added that there are five free-of-charge centres across the Kingdom dedicated to helping smokers kick the habit. The centres are based in Amman, Zarqa, Irbid and Karak.
Muwaswas noted that several factors have led to the spread of smoking culture in Jordan, including the availability of shisha to those under the age of 18.
With that being said, Muwaswas said that the ministry carries out routine inspections at the restaurants and cafes that serve shisha, and anywhere where cigarettes are sold, to ensure that they are complying with the law.
Muwaswas has further urged restaurants to have non-smoking sections and to stop serving shisha to those under 18.
Last month, 26 minors were caught smoking shisha in three different cafes in Madaba, southwest of Amman, during a routine inspection by the Juvenile Behavior Control Committee.