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Health ministry to launch tobacco survey

04 Feb 2019. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health announced that it will launch the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) among male and female individuals 15 years and older, Arab News reported.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the survey is being accomplished by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the General Authority for Statistics under the supervision of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey will last two months and will include samples from 12,800 households in all regions of Saudi Arabia. The survey is the first of its kind in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency said. GATS is a global survey worldwide and is one of WHO's monitoring systems for tobacco smoking prevalence, which aims to determine adult tobacco consumption and find ways to combat it.

This step is an extension of the Ministry of Health's efforts to fight smoking and warn of its harm. The Ministry recently launched a smartphone app to report smoke offences in public areas or selling tobacco to people under the age of 18, Arab news reported.