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Tue 14 Oct 2008 06:48 AM

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Primary school pupils targeted by anti-smoking drive

Saudi campaigners act as kingdom's smokers increase at alarming rate.

Primary school children in Saudi Arabia are being targeted by a new campaign to cut the number of smokers in the kingdom.Young students in Makkah province have received anti-smoking awareness packages as part of the third national anti-smoking campaign organised by the Charitable Society for Awareness Against Smoking and Narcotics.

It is the first time children so young have been approached but campaigners insist it is important to tell them about the dangers of smoking, Arab News reported on Tuesday.

The package includes a children’s magazine, a CD that contains awareness cartoons in addition to some school supplies.

Cigarette smoking is the main reason behind the death of 3.38 million people worldwide, including 13,544 in Saudi Arabia last year, according to statistics published by the charity’s website www.tadkheen.org.

Cigarette smoking in the kingdom is increasing at an alarming rate the total economic loss caused by smoking is estimated at $6.6 billion in the five years from 2005 to 2010.

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