Coronavirus crisis provides ‘golden opportunity’ for Jordan to ban smoking in public places: Hawari

Jordan

Published: 2020-11-29 20:25

Last Updated: 2020-11-29 21:16


Coronavirus crisis provides ‘golden opportunity’ for Jordan to ban smoking in public places: Hawari
Coronavirus crisis provides ‘golden opportunity’ for Jordan to ban smoking in public places: Hawari

The head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the King Hussein Cancer Center Firas Hawari, confirmed Sunday that smoking does not protect against the surging coronavirus. On the contrary, it heightens the chances of ICU admittance for smokers who contract the virus.

During the Roya news bulletin Sunday, Hawari stated that the coronavirus crisis provides a “golden opportunity” to ban smoking in public places in Jordan, which may curb the high rates of tobacco consumption in the Kingdom.

According to a study released by The World Bank, the prevalence of smoking is extremely high in Jordan. 2011, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) found that 42.2 percent of people (55.9 percent of men and 23.7 percent of women) aged 15 and above smoked tobacco in Jordan.

In 2019, Jordan surpassed Indonesia to have the highest smoking rates worldwide said the WHO.

Not only does tobacco consumption pose higher risks in smoking COVID-19 patients, but also in individuals who come into contact with the smokers due to second-hand smoke.

Hawari told The Guardian June, “for every four cigarettes (...) parents have smoked, the child has smoked one [too.]”

He indicated that smoking and obesity are among the biggest factors that lead COVID-19 patients to enter the ICU.

It is still early at present time to change partial and total lockdown measures stipulated by the Ministry of Health, said Hawari, as he hoped that infection rates in Jordan would be within the 5 percent range, whereas they are currently within the 17 percent range.