Al Wahda Mall awarded for its smoke free environment


ABU DHABI - The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) yesterday awarded Al Wahda Mall in the capital the "World No Tobacco Day" trophy. The award was part of a no-smoking campaign that HAAD launched in June this year.

The nomination came after an unannounced visit by HAAD's Public Health team to Al Wahda Mall to assess the smoke- free environment there.

In addition, the team inspected the procedures used by the mall's security department to ensure the prohibition of smoking on the premises, which is part of AI, Wahda's campaign "Together Towards Smoke Free Malls".

HAAD awarded the trophy in appreciation of Al Wahda Mall's efforts to fight tobacco smoking and keep the shopping centre a smoke-free facility.

AI Wahda Mall Manager Scott Brown received the trophy from Dr. Oliver Harrison, head of Public Health at HAAD.

"This award reflects HAAD's appreciation of all initiatives by socially responsible private institutions to protect their customers and staff against tobacco smoke," said Dr. Harrison.

"We look forward to working with AI Wahda Mall in our future campaigns, targeting other equally important health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension," he added.

The authority's 'World No Tobacco Day' campaign generally focused on creating smoke-free environment, encouraging all people in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to help create smoke-free places at work, in malls, in restaurants and cafes and even in their own homes and cars.

According to World Health Organisation's statistics, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It causes one in 10 deaths among adults worldwide.

In 2005 alone, 5.4 million people died of smoking, an average of one death every six seconds. At the current rate of smoking, the death toll is projected to reach 8.3 million by 2030 and a total of one billion by the end of the 21st century.

Second-hand tobacco, which is smoke inhaled from other people's cigarettes, is just as dangerous to health. It causes cancer, heart disease and impotence, among other serious illnesses.

Almost half of the world's children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, which worsens their asthma conditions and causes dangerous diseases.