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“Say no to smoking… Give me your cigarette and take an apple”

“Say no to smoking… Give me your cigarette and take an apple”

On 31/05/2014, Al-Maqdese and Burj Al-Luqluqorganized a campaign in the city of Jerusalem and its old town entitled: ‘Say nofor smoking …give me your cigarette and take an apple’, on the international Day to combat smoking.

The campaign started at noon in front of Damascus Gate with the participation of more than fifty volunteers from Al-Maqdese, Burj Al-Luqluqand the Sons of the Old City of Jerusalem, who were divided into four groups: Damascus Gate, the Old City, Herod’s Gate and Salah Al-DeenSt. and the area surrounding it.

The volunteerswho wore T-shirts for the campaign,with its slogan on them, started to talk with the public in the targetedroads and areas, where they were able to collect hundreds of cigarettes in special water bottles that were prepared before the campaign to ensure the effectiveness of the idea with the surrounding community, asthe volunteers provided a green apple for each smoker who puts his cigarette in the water bottle to emphasize on the idea of ​​the campaign and its slogan to keep smokers away from smoking, even for a single day, in the streets and alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Regarding the arrangement of the campaign, the campaign coordinator from Al-Maqdese, Burhan Kashur, stated: ‘The idea was launched a week ago to be achieved today on the ground and amongst the Jerusalemite public, in cooperation and partnership between Al-Maqdese, Burj Al-Luqluq and the volunteers from both organization, who proved that Jerusalemite community is able to make a change if there is a will. On his part, Khaled Abu Dalo from Burj Al-Luqluq confirmed that the idea of the campaign attracted many people in Jerusalem.

On May 31 of each year,the world celebrates the International Day to combat smoking, to attract attention on theneeded control on tobacco use and its negative impact on health, which is now leading to death,while following the instructions of doctors to quit gradually.

The World Health Organization celebrates the International Day to combat smoking this year under the slogan ‘ raising taxes imposed on tobacco.’The WHO has indicated that the taxes imposed on the tobacco industry which is increased by three times will reduce smoking by one-third, and prevent 200 million premature deaths as a cause of lung cancer and other diseases. The overall number of smokers in the world is 1.3 billion; most of them live in poor countries in which their governments did not enact much of anti-smoking laws.According to the World Health Organization, the tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600 thousand people are non-smokers, who die due to smoke inhalation. Moreover, WHO predicted that the figure will rise to more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030 if no action is taken to reduce smoking rates.

Doctors indicate that smoking leads to hardening the arteries that feed the brain and heart, which causes a stroke or heart attack. Researchers also linked smoking and the development of cancer in several parts of the body, including the lungs, throat, nose, pharynx, stomach, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, cervix and breasts in women’s bodies.

It could be argued that smoking is a cause of death for one of every three known cases of cancer.

Also, the experts proved that the risk of hookah (shisha) is much higher than the risk of a cigarette, and that smoking hookah for an hour is equivalent to an average of smoking 200 cigarettes.

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