Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

June 22, 2010

Smokefree Saudi Arabia: Smoking banned at Saudi airports!

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:56 pm

A major step forward, Saudi Arabia re-enforces it’s ban on smoking in airports by forcing a 200SR (about $50) fine on anyone smoking in a Saudi airport! It’s about time, so many people are already smoking in the airports including airport employees!

From Arab News:

Although the Kingdom passed anti-smoking regulations in August 2003, the habit is growing among its population. There are six million smokers in the country who puff away SR8 billion every year. According to one report, smoking-related diseases kill at least 33 people in the Kingdom each month.

We still have a long way to go though.

Make sure to follow @SmokefreeRiyadh on twitter for the Smokefree Riyadh project.

June 14, 2010

Anti-smoking campaign targets Saudi youth

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:14 am

Published on yesterday’s Arab News:

JEDDAH: Seven commercials about the harms of smoking are being screened on television as part of an anti-smoking campaign that has recently been launched targeting Saudi youth.

Flyers are also being distributed on the harms of smoking and lectures are being delivered on the subject as part of the campaign.

“The idea came to me when I visited a high school in Jeddah and met grade 11 students. I asked them about smoking and realized that 12 out of the 15 I met smoked,” said Kaswara Al-Khatib, managing director of Full Stop Advertising. “I have always been irritated that underage boys and girls are smoking cigarettes or the hookah. It is because of this that I came up with the idea of organizing a campaign to highlight the poor effects of smoking,” he added. “We are targeting young smokers who have begun smoking while at school because they have just started smoking and can easily be pulled back,” said Al-Khatib. “We’re avoiding older smokers because they are harder to convince,” he added.

Concerned Saudi citizen Hamza Khushaim said supermarkets sell cigarettes without giving due consideration to the age of those buying. “I think this campaign should also target supermarkets and restaurant owners who sell cigarettes and serve hookah pipes to youngsters,” he said.

“I once asked a salesman why he was selling cigarettes to young boys when he knows they are bad for their health. The guy told me that he also sells Pepsi knowing that it’s also bad for health and added that he is only concerned with making money,” he added.

Local companies and hospitals are also following suit. Balubaid Group of Companies and International Medical Center (IMC) recently joined together to hold an anti-smoking seminar that ran under the slogan “Extinguish your cigarette and spark hope.” The seminar was hosted by IMC’s Medical Director Dr. Ashraf Ameer and was held to spread awareness among the company’s employees and their families.

“The initiative came from Balubaid to emphasize that we do care about our employees’ health,” said Sana’a Dakheel from Balubaid. “The company has also banned smoking at all of its branches to promote its corporate culture which involves providing employees with healthy working environments,” she added.

End of article.

A good move, but I am also worried about restaurants and coffee shops with no non-smoking sections. I am looking at you, Dunkin Donuts Saudi Arabia.

Always good news to hear, thanks R. Hakim. Please make sure to follow the #SmokefreeRiyadh twitter campaign by following @SmokefreeRiyadh.

May 29, 2010

Jordan to ban smoking in restaurants – What are we doing?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 9:00 pm

Via Zsafwan: The Ministry of Health decided to fully implement the smoking ban in the Kingdom’s restaurants starting Wednesday, a ministry official said.

Just what are we doing here in Saudi Arabia? WE SIGNED AN ANTI SMOKING PACT IN 2005! Nothing changed: Major coffee shop Dunkin Donuts allow smoking (except one branch, but people are smoking in seating areas near the door). Small stores still selling dirt cheap cigarettes. Restaurants have no real “non smoking sections” and I don’t want to list them all.

A big thanks to Sahara Mall, they claim that they have banned smoking in their mall/foodcourt. Here’s a Gowalla link to their location in Riyadh.

May 28, 2010

Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robins prepare for IPO in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 10:00 pm

Sha-heiah “شهية” or “appetite” is a name of a Saudi company for food (ltd). I really wanted to link to the official website of Sha-heiah “شهية” but the only thing I found was this email: dunkindonuts.ksa@gmail.com. The link to the company’s site titled: “شركة شهية المحدودة للأطعمة” actually takes you Dunkin’ Donuts’ official website. Again with Saudi companies lacking presence on the Internet.

Anyway according to this, Sha-heiah “شهية” has announced that they are preparing for IPO. Wish they would use the money to turn all of their Dunkin’ Donuts to a non-hazardous, smoke free coffee shop. One can dream, can he not?

Interesting fact: If you check Gowalla there are over 30 Dunkin Donuts in Riyadh! Can you visit them all?

Image from Hoboken411.

March 12, 2010

#SmokefreeRiyadh

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 2:15 pm

Thanks to Basem for introducing me to #SmokefreeAmman, A Twitter campaign for a Smokefree Amman!

I would like to start the Smokefree Riyadh twitter campaign. Just tag #SmokefreeRiyadh in any tweet discussing a non-smoking location in Riyadh or to warn against a smoking only location. I hope to see #SmokefreeJeddah and more.

A big thank you to Dunkin Donuts in Saudi Arabia for finally banning smoking in their branches!

A big question: “Saudi signed anti-smoking pact” in 2005. Whatever happened to that? #SmokefreeSaudi.

Looks like Twitter search is useless so I linked to Google Search within Twitter instead.

May 19, 2005

Saudi signs anti-smoking pact

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 8:33 am

Now here’s some good news.

Saudi Arabia has ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. As a ratifying nation it will ban tobacco advertising, take measures to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, increase the cost of tobacco products, and make efforts to stop tobacco smuggling. The pact aims at dissuading children from smoking and to help adults drop the habit.

Via AMEinfo.

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