Together Toward A Tobacco Free Abu Dhabi



Tobacco Control is a top priority for the Public Health division at the Department of Health. Two of the main key strategies include public awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and how to give up smoking and the implementation of a smoke-free environment throughout Abu Dhabi.

The Department of Health (DoH) launched the Tobacco Control Awareness Program in which runs annually with the slogan “Together Towards a Tobacco- Free Abu Dhabi".

The program aims to raise the overall awareness among the community on harmful effects of tobacco use, second hand smoke exposure and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, and advocacy for the Implementation of the Federal Law 15 of 2009and the Executive by-law 24 of 2013 concerning tobacco Control, together with other governmental agencies and community organizations.

Abu Dhabi Says No to Tobacco

General Information:

What are the Health risks of smoking?

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally and has been shown to be the cause of common diseases affecting the heart, liver and lungs. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer (particularly lung cancer) with every 9 out of 10-lung cancer cases having tobacco as the primary cause. Tobacco use also caused cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.

Health Effects of Secondhand smoke / Passive smoking /Environmental tobacco smoke:

Secondhand smoke is the inhalation of smoke from tobacco products used by others. If a smoker continues to smoke around other they increase the risk for friends and family of developing several types of cancer, stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. Children of smokers are three times more prone to being smokers than the children of non-smokers.

Is it true that Smoking shisha / water pipes / Hookah: are safer than smoking cigarettes?

Shisha smoking is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Shisha smoking poses a serious risk to health just as cigarettes do; filtering the smoke through water does not make it healthier. Recent studies have shown that shisha is equivalent to 40+ cigarettes. All types of tobacco products, whether cigars, cigarettes or Medwakh, are bad for health.

How bad is Dokha and medwak?


Dokha (Arabic for “dizzy”) is the tobacco blend that is smoked in a pipe called a‘Medwakh’ especially amongst young people and it contains many unknown substances and chemicals. 

There is very little research on Dokha and Medwak but it has been shown to be as harmful as cigarettes and shisha. Recent research has shown, it has high nicotine content, containing up to five times as much as a normal cigarette.
Are Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) safe?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other international health agencies have warned of several health risks that may result from the use of E-cigarettes and the FDA has not approved the E- cigarettes as a quit-smoking treatment.

Is smoking addictive?

The nicotine in tobacco is the addictive drug. It causes changes in the brain that makes people want to use it more and more. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present and the bad feelings when it's absent make breaking any addiction very difficult. The characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. HOWEVER, WITH THE RIGHT HELP YOU CAN QUIT!

What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?

Irritability/ impatience/ hostility/ anxiety/ depressed mood/ difficulty concentrating/restlessness/ decreased heart rate/ increased appetite or weight gain.

What are the benefits of stopping smoking?

Quit smoking is not easy, but there are many benefits when tobacco use is stopped including:

  • Reduced risk of developing illness, disability or death caused by cancer, heart, lung disease, or circulatory problems (such as limb amputation)
  • Increased protection of your family and friends from the harmful effects of second hand smoke.
  • Improved fertility levels and increased chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  • Improved breathing and general fitness.
  • Improved taste of food.
  • Improved appearance of skin and teeth  
  • Elimination of the smell of stale tobacco.
  • Reduced fire risk in the home.
Can I get help to stop smoking?

Your doctor can advise you on a number of strategies to help you quit smoking. By visiting one of the following smoking cessation clinics:

Facility Name  


 Contact Number

 Adnoc Medical Center

 Abu Dhabi


 Al Dhafra Family Medicine Center

 Abu Dhabi


 Al Jahli Healthcare Center

 Al Ain


 Al Muweiji Healthcare Center

 Al Ain


 Baniyas Healthcare Center

 Abu Dhabi


 Madinat Khalifa Healthcare Center

 Abu Dhabi


 Medical Services Administration Of Abu Dhabi Police Ghq

 Abu Dhabi


 Ruwais Hospital

 Abu Dhabi


 Sheikh Khalifa Medical City

 Abu Dhabi


 Oud Al Touba Healthcare Center

 Al Ain


 American Center For Psychiatry And Neurology L.L.C

 Abu Dhabi


 London Consulting Medical Center  Abu Dhabi  02-6261661
 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi L.L.C  Abu Dhabi  800-8-2223
 Al Bateen Healthcare Center  Abu Dhabi  80050

How quickly will I feel the benefits of stopping smoking?


Health Benefit...

20 minutes

Your blood pressure, pulse rate, and the temperature of your hands and feet will all return to normal.

24 hours

Anxieties peak and within two weeks should return to your normal levels.

48 hours

Anger and irritability from stopping smoking peaks.

72 hours

Breathing becomes easier and your energy levels increase.

1 month

Skin appearance improves because of improved circulation of blood.

3 to 9 months

Cough, wheezing, and breathing problems improve and lung function increases by up to 10%

1 year

Risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker

10 years

Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker

15 years

Risk of heart attack falls to the same level as someone who has never smoked

Have you decided to quit smoking?

Congratulations on deciding to quit smoking, no matter how addicted you are, you can stop smoking.

This section has advice for you on how to successfully quit smoking. Many people stop smoking and some find it helpful to use medications to help them. Your doctor can advise you about medications if you need help to stop smoking.

When you are getting ready to quit Remember:
  1. You are probably addicted to nicotine and it can take time to break away from nicotine addiction. Many people manage to do this successfully every day.
  2. It may take more than one attempt to quit for good, the important thing is not to give up
  3. You may smoke when you are stressed, bored or angry, so try not to expose yourself to such conditions and remember the stress will pass without the need for a cigarette
  4. Try and stay away from social situations where people are smoking as this may weaken your resolve
Some tips which may help you to stop smoking
  1. Set a date for stopping, and stop completely. (Some people prefer the idea of cutting down gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke less cigarettes than usual, you are likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is usually best to stop once and for all from a set date).
  2. Tell everyone that you are stopping. Friends and family often give support.
  3. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, and all cigarettes.
  4. Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms. When you stop smoking, you are likely to get symptoms such as: feeling sick, headaches, anxiety, being irritable and cravings. These symptoms are caused by the lack of nicotine that your body has been used to. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 2-4 weeks.
  5. Be aware of situations in which you are most likely to want to smoke and try changing your routine for the first few weeks.
  6. Take one day at a time. Mark off each successful day on a calendar. Look at it when you feel tempted to smoke, and tell yourself you don't want to start all over again.
  7. Be positive. Tell people that you don't smoke. You will smell better. After a few weeks you should feel better, taste your food more, and cough less. You will have more money.
  8. Food. Some people worry about gaining weight when they give up smoking as the appetite may improve. Be prepared for an increase in appetite, and try not to increase fatty or sugary foods as snacks. Try sugar-free gum and fruit instead.
  9. Do not despair if you fail and have a cigarette. You don't have to start smoking again. Examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular time, and try again. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have made 3 or 4 previous attempts.
  10. Various medicines can increase your chance of quitting. These include Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which comes as gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy NRT without a prescription. Also, medicines called bupropion (trade name 'Zyban') and varenicline (trade name 'Champix) can help. These are available on prescription and need to be taken with the advice of your doctor.
  11. Smoking cessation clinics are available and increasing in number, and pharmacists can advise you on over the counter aids to help you quit smoking.
Treatment Coverage:
  • For Nationals: Treatment, for both counselling and medication, is fully covered by Thiqa Daman insurance.
  • For Non Nationals: Counselling and medication not covered by Daman Insurance.


Benefits of quitting smoking promotional video: