Fine for smoking inside campus

Abdullah Al-Jamili


THE Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah warned students and staff against smoking inside the campus, saying violators, including faculty members, would be slapped with a SR200 fine as of next month.

The university will implement this positive decision in an effort to protect the health of its students and faculty members. The decision is also based on a government rule that prevents smoking in public places and within campuses of educational institutions.

Before the announcement, the university ran an awareness campaign on the danger of smoking that lasted for months both through social media platforms and campus programs. It also launched a mobile de-addiction clinic in cooperation with the Health Ministry.

Here I would like to thank the administration of Umm Al-Qura University for this great initiative. Smoking, in all its forms, is invading our society, especially the youth.

According to the latest statistics issued by the Ministry of Health, the total number of smokers in Saudi Arabia reached 5.5 million men and women. This is 23 percent of the population.

The latest statistics did not show any improvement in the ratio of people who quit smoking. Their percentage, according to the latest figures, did not reach 31 percent, which was the ratio recorded in 2017.

This is happening at a time when great efforts are being made by the national anti-smoking committee with the support of charity organizations to combat the unhealthy habit. It is also happens at a time when there are 517 medical clinics to combat smoking nationwide.

It is important to reformulate the programs and update the language of the anti-smoking messages addressed to the public.

It is also important to be strict on implementing the no-smoking rule in public places, especially near educational institutions.

The initiative taken by Umm Al-Qura University should be followed by other universities so that one day we will have an environment free from smoking.