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Discussion Youngsters shifting to cruder forms of tobacco in UAE
Youngsters shifting to cruder forms of tobacco in UAE
It is taken orally and has chemical effects on oral mucosa and direct impact on the cheek and tongue.
Youngsters in the UAE are rapidly shifting to cruder and more dangerous forms tobacco that can be chewed and inhaled.
According to the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP), school students are using Chaini Khaini (chewable) and inhaled tobacco which is being promoted discretely since it is a prohibited substance in the UAE.
Originally, its first use emerged in Asian workers. It is taken orally and has chemical effects on oral mucosa and direct impact on the cheek and tongue. It produces a feeling of euphoria and relaxation and has serious harmful effects on health such as: Destroying the mucosa and causing gingivitis, inflammation of oral mucosa and bad breath, gum and mouth cancer, nicotine addiction and agitation of the nervous system.
To get their daily buzz, younsgters are also resorting to smoking tobacco products such as dokha, according to a compilation study. Dokha - an alternative tobacco product (ATP) - is an Arabic term which means "dizzy" in English. It is a blend of finely shredded tobacco mixed with leaves, bark and herbs and is consumed using a pipe called midwakh.
How parents can help their teens quit
. Ask your doctor about stop-smoking aids
. Don't smoke in the house, in the car, or in front of your teen
. Don't leave cigarettes where your child might find them
. Explain how unhappy you are with your smoking, and why it's important for you to quit
. Tell your teen how much you want him or her to stop smoking. But keep in mind that commands, threats and ultimatums aren't likely to work
. Instead of getting angry, ask your teen what made him or her start smoking. Perhaps your teen is trying to fit in at school, or trying to get your attention
. Ask your teen to calculate the weekly, monthly or yearly cost of smoking. Compare the cost of smoking with electronic devices, clothes or other items your teen considers important.
The study published in tobacco Control journal in October 2014 pointed out that many ATPs, such as hookahs, have grown in popularity and are used beyond the locale of their origin, thereby, becoming a significant global public health concern.
This may pose challenges to the tobacco control efforts in the region, points out the study titled "Midwakh/dokha tobacco use in the Middle East: much to learn."
"These products are cheap and easily available," Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National tobacco Control programme at the ministry said in an earlier interview. "The regulations are not as well enforced as we would like them to be," she added. The study takes into account two studies on the same subject and provides an overview of an under-reported and understudied ATP, dokha.
She also said that teenagers are more prone to using dokha since they believe that it is less injurious to health.
"Teenagers want to try everything . they believe that midwakh and shisha are less harmful which is a wrong belief, of course," she said.
Professor Dr Mohammed Al Houqani, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for Education and Academic Affairs, UAE University who conducted the study said that 24 per cent of UAE nationals smoked dokha, while midwakh was the second most popular ATP in the UAE.
"Not much has been written about the dangers of midwakh," he said. "It is very popular among Arabs but is beginning to be liked by other nationalities as well," he added.
While warnings have been placed on cigarettes, consumption of dokha remains uncontrolled in the UAE. "Many times it is home-made too to add different flavours for pleasure but we don't know the actual contents," said Dr Houqani.
Dr Houqani called upon officials asking them to put control policies in place adding that Youngsters were rapidly shifting towards this new trend.
"It is a health risk and needs to be controlled . people are promoting it in place of cigarettes thinking it is safe. But it is not."
Dokha gives a 'high' after only one or two puffs. "Sometimes, users feel dizzy and get high for a few seconds," he said.
Similar to hookahs, the marketing of midwakh/dokha targets young people, the study noted.
It said: "Preliminary data and observations from health providers and the public health sector suggest that midwakh smoking may pose challenges to the tobacco control efforts in the region."
As per the study, tobacco control efforts continue to focus almost exclusively on curbing cigarette use (including smoking cessation training of health and education professionals, media campaigns, increased taxation and banning tobacco smoking in public places), despite the alarming new research indicating increased use of ATP
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